Desertec, the venture aimed at generating power in North Africa for supplying Europe, is to present plans next year for its first power plant, a €600m ($800m) 150 MW pilot solar plant in Morocco.

Talks between project management company Dii GmbH and European and North African governments are advancing “step by step”, Dii’s CEO Paul van Son, told Bloomberg in an interview.

“I’m very confident that we will see concrete steps in 2012,” he said.

The project backed by Siemens and Deutsche Bank was founded in 2009 to establish a network of solar-thermal plants as well as PV and wind installations from Egypt to Morocco. Investment could total €400bn, according to Dii.

But North African countries are now moving faster with their own projects.

Morocco, which targets 2 GW of solar capacity by 2020, was picked for its stable government and undersea cables with free capacity of 400 MW to 1000 MW across the Strait of Gibraltar, van Son told Bloomberg.

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