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Desertec: power to the people or just another mirage? - July 27

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Stewart Taggart at Desertec-Australia on clean power from deserts worldwide

Marc Strassman, Etopia News
Stewart Taggart, coordinator of Desertec-Australia, talks about Desertec projects for harvesting clean green solar power from deserts in Africa/EU, Australia, and the United States, recorded from Sydney, Australia, on July 20/21, 2009
(2 July 2009)

Desertec Solar Project Shows That Green Investors Can’t Afford to be Too Green If They Want to Make $$

Bill Paul, Seeking Alpha
Too many green investors – and the U.S.-based fund managers that cater to them – are about to miss out on green energy’s long term trillion-dollar payoff because they insist on investing in companies that generate 50% or more of revenue directly from sales of green products like wind turbines and solar panels.

Nobody would mistake German engineering giant Siemens AG (Symbol SI), Swiss engineering behemoth ABB Ltd. (Symbol ABB), or Deutsche Bank AG (Symbol DB) as green energy companies. Indeed, Siemens and ABB are detested by many environmentalists because they construct fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants.
(19-26 July 2009)

European power from the desert is a Fata Morgana

Prof. Dr. Hermann Scheer, blog
Prof. Dr. Hermann Scheer, member of the German parliament, EUROSOLAR president and general chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy, on the presentation of the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative in Munich today:

The Desertec project “Power for Northern Europe from the Sahara desert" is a Fata Morgana. The initiators know: There is no prospect of success. But for all that Desertec could be a good idea indeed. If the aim were to enable the Sahara countries to make the transition to energy generation completely from renewable sources, I would fully agree to the Desertec plan. The EU would make both an essential contribution towards stable economic and social prospects for the southern Mediterranean countries and to fighting climate change. Given their solar and wind power potentials, these countries would even be able to completely move to renewable energy for their electricity supply within less than 20 years. The beneficial effect to their economies would be much stronger compared with exporting power to Europe.

There are several essential reasons that the Desertec concept presented today for large-scale solar power exports to Europe is highly questionable. The expected costs are artificially down rated, while the possibilities to save costs when building the high voltage direct current transmission lines are highly overestimated. Even if the plan for supplying 15 per cent of the EU’s electricity demand with supposedly €400 billion cost of investment would be feasible; this would not at all be less costly than generating power from renewable energy within the EU itself. In Germany alone, since 2000 – that is within nine years – the percentage of electricity generation from renewable energy has increased to 15 per cent, while the volume of investment has been about €80 billion. The costs per generated kilowatt-hour keep falling constantly.
(13 July 2009)

Related: Professor Scheer recorded a talk recently on renewable energy and energy policy. The talk starts at 11 mins in after various thank yous and intros. -KS


Matthias Reinig at Schott on Desertec Industrial Initiative

Marc Strassman, Etopia News
Matthias Reinig in Corporate PR at Schott International talks about the $560 billion Desertec Industrial Initiative to build a network of concentrating solar power stations in North Africa and use the power locally and export the surplus to Europe, recorded from Mainz, Germany, on July 20, 2000
(20 July 2009)

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