Desertec Moves Forward: Agreement to Install 22,000 MW of Renewables

An agreement has been signed to develop a mammoth 22,000 megawatts of renewable energy in Algeria as part of the Desertec Industrial Initiative.

Algerian energy company Sonelgaz and the Desertec Industrial Initiative signed the agreement, which aims to install 22,000 MW by 2030.

10,000 MW of that energy will be exported to Europe.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative aims to harness the huge solar energy resources in Africa’s Saharan Desert, both for domestic use and for export to Europe. The Initiative is an industrial consortium that consists of 56 companies from 15 countries.

The long-term objective of the Desertec project is to meet 15% of Europe’s electricity needs by 2050, and a substantial part of the demand in Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Europe will give Algeria access to western technology and industry in order to reach its target.

Founding members of Desertec, which was formed in 2009, include: ABB, Abengoa Solar, Cevital, Deutsche Bank, EON, HSH Nordbank, Muenchener Rueca, M+W Zander, RWE, Schott Solar and Siemens.

Another project that’s part of Desertec received $297 million in loans from the World Bank in November 2011. The funds will help finance the world’s largest concentrating solar plant – in Morrocco.

That plant will be the first in Morocco’s $9 billion solar program, launched in 2009. Five other plants are planned between 2015-2020 for a total capacity of 2000 MW.

In 2009, the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund approved a $750 million Investment Plan for Concentrating Solar in the Middle East and North Africa region. It plans to raise an additional $4.85 billion for projects in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. The goal is to develop 900 MW of concentrating solar in the region by 2020.

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