July 14, 2010
North Africa / Maghreb & Desertec (mega solar & wind plans)
I confess I was rather dismissive of Desertec when it was announced but am becoming less so. The mega plan I don't see happening (if only because the idea of Algeria and Morocco on one hand and Libya and Egypt on the other being able to come together on this kind of integration is at present somewhat comedic). However, for certain countries the potential to be the "points" or leads on a semi-stand alone basis in the near to medium future... Well that is looking better. Morocco and Tunisia, maybe Egypt (Egypt being problematic if only for distance and interconnections, whereas Morocco and Tunisia have less issues here).
Gregor Czisch on the super-grid | FT Energy Source | FT.com
The idea of a wholly renewable electricity supply, using a system that spans Europe and North Africa, is gaining ground.
There is scepticism, of course, about the variability of wind and solar power, and the cost of deploying the infrastructure. But several studies in the past year have shown how a good geographic blend of sources might make this possible, and perhaps even cost-neutral – and replicable around the world. Big energy equipment vendors are forming consortiums around both the Europe-African super-grid and ‘Desertec’, the idea of a massive solar project in the Sahara desert.
Is there the needed capital? Dunno, but people are becoming more interested.
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Desertec is nothing but PR, for time being.
The funding for the Moroccan wind and solar plan, modelled on the recent projects, will certainly be almost wholly fund by loans from EU and European institutions and banks. If it actually succeeds in generating 42% of the country's electricity by 2020, then the next stage, exporting electricity, might be possible.
It's ten years early to talk about something like Desertec, not even mentioning political and security problems...
The Moroccan gov is very vocal making plans, talking independence and ecology, but it does very little to actually train people. EU seems intent in keeping the business in Europe but we could fight for some of it too. Already South Africa is ahead...
For an unfathomable reason Tunisia is very lukewarm to Desertec and Transgreen and seems not very interested in renewables either.
And for sure, Algeria is already complaining from foreigners and multinationals wanting to rob it of its(hard earned)wealth...
Posted by: xoussef at July 16, 2010 08:42 PM