Desertec To Start Work
On First Solar Plant In 2012
Reuters, by Maria Sheahan, Oct 29 2011
FRANKFURT - Desertec, the world's most ambitious
solar power project, is to start building its first power plant next year, a
500 megawatt (MW) facility in Morocco costing up to 2 billion euros ($2.8
billion), the project lead told a German newspaper.
"Construction is to start in 2012," Ernst Rauch of Munich
Re, initiator of the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), told Sueddeutsche
Zeitung in an interview published on Saturday.
by mostly German companies in 2009, the 400 billion euro Desertec project will
use mirrors to harness the sun's rays to produce steam and drive turbines for
electricity generation in the Sahara region within the next decade.
The first phase of the 12-square-kilometre
Moroccan complex will be a 150 MW facility costing up to 600 million euros that
will take two to four years to build, the newspaper said.
>Parabolic trough concentrating solar power
plant heats an exchange fluid and boils water to create steam to turn power
"Depending on the technology, electricity
production can start in 2014, or no later than 2016," Rauch said, adding
details of the project in Morocco -- such as location, technology, and
financing -- should be agreed by early 2012.
Desertec's goal is to analyze how to develop
clean energy in the North Africa deserts that could supply up to 15 percent of
Europe's power demand by 2050. Deserts get more energy in six hours than the
world's population consumes in a year, DII says. Fields of mirrors in the
desert would gather solar rays from concentrated solar power (CSP) to boil
water, turning turbines to electrify a new carbon-free network linking
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
DII is a product of the Desertec Foundation, a
global network of governments, companies and think tanks that is exploring how
to harness solar power in deserts. The DII project has a range of corporate
backers from the energy, technology and construction sectors as well as banks
and a reinsurer. Shareholders include ABB, Munich Re, Abengoa, Deutsche Bank,
RWE, Enel, Saint-Gobain, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, Siemens and Red Electrica.