North African Solar project could provide a sixth of Europe’s electricity

A grid such as this sketch could supply Europe’s power even when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine where you areNow this is very positive. Last week there was talk of a giant ‘supergrid’ connecting much of Europe to wind turbines across the continent, to take advantage of whenever the wind was blowing.

Now the Guardian reports on Desertec, the plans to put hundreds of solar concentrating plants on the North African coasts and in the Middle East. Two thirds of the estimated 100 Billion Watts would stay in the countries producing the energy, with another 30 Billion Watts (around of all of Europe’s use) being pumped via underwater cables to the EU, which would provide a chunk of the funding for the project. With the Bali talks now underway to find a new version of the Kyoto treaty, projects like this could be a major facet of reducing carbon emissions. German energy expert Gregor Czeich reckons with new higher efficiency power lines a 100% renewable powered Europe could be possible in the near future without costing much more than the current fossil fuel system.

[via the guardian, picture by TREC]

4 thoughts on “North African Solar project could provide a sixth of Europe’s electricity”

  1. not if everywhere else is contributing tidal/hydro/wind into the same grid… but certainly these countries will become a lot richer. A lovely side effect of the solar intensifiers used in the project is lots of clean water – perfect for the desert.

  2. I have to say I share Jeremy’s concerns, though I very much hope they will prove unfounded. Hopefully well change the habit of a (species) lifetime, and learn from our recent mistakes.

  3. There is a new world wide web emerging right before our eyes. It is a global energy network and, like the internet, it will change our culture, society and how we do business. More importantly, it will alter how we use, transform and exchange energy.

    For more information, see

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