Ambitious European renewable plan on the ropes

The Desertec project ” a plant to harness renewable energy around Europe and bring a high proportion of it through solar power from Africa has ran into trouble.

The project envisioned running subsea cables from North Africa in an ambitious plan to provide 15 per cent of Europe’s power needs from solar plants, but the departure of two big backers, Siemens and Bosch, has put the plan in jeopardy.

Solar power panels

In addition the Spanish government has seemingly recoiled from signing an agreement to build solar power plants in Morocco.

Desertec was set up in 2009 with a projected budget of $510bn to tap the enormous potential of solar and other renewables in North Africa.

The project aimed to create 125 GW of power, vast amounts of which would be then directed to Europe, as well as satisfying local needs.

Dr Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe, a professor at the University of Linz in Austria and an expert on African solar resources, this is not good news.

“Siemens and Bosch are very big companies,” he told BBC New, “if they don’t want to support this initiative it is going to be difficult for Desertec.”

Desertec says that these are small problems and will not detract from the overall success of the project. Spokesman Klaus Schmidtke told BBC News the initiative is in good shape.

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