DESERTEC Foundation

DESERTEC Foundation (2009; Hamburg, Germany; www.desertec.org)

The DESERTEC Concept shows “how to combat climate change, ensure a reliable energy supply, and promote security and development by generating sustainable power from the sites where renewable sources of energy are most abundant.”

Their vision is to “bring six billion poor people to clean prosperity and clean up the rich of 1.2 billion.”

The Concept was developed by politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which arose the DESERTEC Foundation, with the mission of promoting “Clean Power from Deserts” all over the world. Power from MENA (Middle East and North Africa) deserts can provide the region with sufficient energy for urgently-needed seawater desalination, supply about two-thirds of the region’s rising energy demand, and leave enough energy to meet 15% of European consumption.  The Foundation already has projects in Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia, and is now looking at Greater East Asia “to lead the world towards a sustainable future,” using a smart mix of concentrating solar-thermal power in desert regions of Mongolia and Northwest China, wind power in coastal areas, hydro power in mountainous regions, photovoltaics in sunny area, and biomass and geothermal where conditions are favorable. The Foundation coordinates national associations and a network of regional coordinators as well as a large global community of supporters. Directors: Ignacio Campino, Andrew Huber, Thiemo Gropp, and Michael Duren.

Note: DESERTEC seems like it has run out of steam, which might be tied to the death of its founder in 2017. Latest online news are from 2017. The last DESERTEC award was awarded in 2014. In general the DESERTEC idea has not succeeded in its trans EU-MENA project. The DII (Desertec Industrial Initiative) https://dii-desertenergy.org/ is the industry focused branch of the project and the majority of the members left it at the end of 2014. The DII continues to exist but with a much less ambitious and locally focused program. (FH)

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