Twelve European companies are cooperating in the planning of a gigantic sunpower plant in the Sahara Desert, called: the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII). The ambition is to produce 15% of Europe's total energy consumption by 2050. The investment plan will be ready by 2012.
The "Norwegian" companies participating in the project are:
The ambitious $400 billion project is slowly taking shape; Munich Re has assembled a consortium of companies to begin the work.
The plan would use concentrated solar power, focusing the sun to heat liquid, which then drives turbines to generate electricity. Huge mirrors will be planted in the desert from Marocco to Saudi Arabia. The sunrays will create watermist which will be fuel for the generator, and the alternative energy will be transported through a 300 km high-voltage direct current cabels across the Mediterranean to Europe.
The Guardian reports that the project could bring power to Europe by 2015 by using high voltage direct current cables to move the power from North Africa to Europe. The cabel network is estimated to cost approximately 3 billion NOK. The total project is estimated to cost about NOK 3,6 billion
The company’s shareholders include ABB, Abengoa Solar, Cevital, Desertec Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.O, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, M+W Zander, RWE, Schott Solar and Siemens.
The list of shareholders is expected to expand to include participants from other countries.Paul van Son, formerly of Deutsche Essent and Econcern in the Netherlands, will helm the new enterprise.
The Sahara covers huge parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. It is one of three distinct physiographic provinces of the African massive physiographic division.