DESERTEC Foundation

Founding Year: 2009



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) 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)

DESERTEC Foundation contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
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  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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