The Middle East and North Africa have faced a number of hurdles in getting what experts believe could be the greatest solar power grid in the world off the ground. From Morocco to Egypt to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), obstacles have continued to stand in the way of creating a grand solar project. Until now.
Libya has long relied on its crude oil resources for revenue, but the country possesses a natural resource far more abundant and hardly tapped at all: sun. Nearly 90 percent of the country is comprised of sun-drenched desert or semi desert and only 1.03 percent of the land is arable. Match this with solar irradiation that […]
First Solar has until recently participated as an associate partner of the Dii initiative designed to develop renewable energy projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa for eventual evacuation to Europe. But now one of the world’s most prolific renewable energy producers has taken on a more serious role as shareholder. Particularly well poised […]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are expected to bring 3.5GW of solar capacity online by 2015: Saudi Arabia and Turkey lead the way. A new report published by Green Tech Media (GTM) Research pins the surge from today’s near-negligible production on rapidly rising energy demand spurred by MENA economic expansion, population growth, and […]
When Spain failed to show up for a recent Desertec meeting that would have signaled government support for the 150 MW concentrated solar plant (CSP) in Ourzazate, Morocco, energy bloggers rushed to dub the program designed to supply Europe with renewable energy produced in North African countries a failure. Both Bosch and Siemens pulled out as […]
Over the past week, there has been much fanfare and reporting on Spain’s surprising absence from the signing of the first Desertec project, leaving many to question if Spain was pulling out altogether from the project. Certainly, it was not the right move by Spain to simply not show up at the signing event, but […]
Morocco’s ambitious Desertec solar energy project received a setback after Spain failed to show for the official signing of the agreement that aims to transform North Africa’s energy market. The first Desertec project between the EU and Morocco is now under threat as Spain had been an instrumental partner in the project. Officials from France, […]
As part of its plan to shake off its unprofitable solar shackles, including Israel’s Solel initiative, German giant Siemens has exited the ambitious Desertec project. But that doesn’t seem to have deterred the strength of the initiative, which is designed to enable Europe to import one fifth of its power by 2050 from renewable energy […]
Finally poised to embrace renewable energy generation, little-known Algeria is accepting tender bids from solar and wind energy producers. Along with Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, which are either in the process of or are planning to build solar plants in their home countries, Algeria supports the Desertec Foundation vision to line the Sahara with solar thermal […]
Some notable new investments made in the MENA region include a new solar thermal power plant in Saudi Arabia. The revolutions that have been taking place in the Arab world since December 2010 have had a significant impact on the economy, not only in the countries involved, but also the rest of the World. How […]
Able to store enough heat to generate power that can last well into the night, Masdar’s Gemasolar, built in Spain last year was state of the art in solar thermal energy storage, able to reach temperatures of over 500°C. Now a U.S. startup funded by the Obama administration energy department with a $3.3 million ARPA-E grant has […]
This year's MENASOL on the 16th and 17th of May in Abu Dhabi, offers something even more special!
We have collected five inspiring stories that point to the possibility of a freer, greener Tunisia TIME Magazine paid allegiance to the brave hearted souls in the Middle East North Africa region who rose up against despotic regimes by naming “The Protestor” as their 2011 person of the year. Known now as the Arab […]
In just six hours, the deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind produces in a year, and Desertec is harnessing it. Right now hundreds of people are gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland making the same kind of noises about the security of our future as the suits at COP […]
Wow, the Desertec vision is barreling into realization! A clean energy future where the world's deserts supply huge amounts of solar energy to the whole of humankind is truly becoming reality. Now the fourth Desertec project, by far the largest-ever solar plant in the world - for 2,000 MW of solar power - is to be built in Tunisia. (Previous stories: Desertec Begins: 500 MW Moroccan Solar in 2012, then MedGrid joined up, providing the transmission needed, with the plan to export up to 5GW of renewable power by cable under the Mediterranean between North Africa and Europe as early as 2020, and then most recently, the 3rd Desertec Deal Signed – Algerian Solar.) How huge will this solar project be? 2, 000 MW is six times the size of the largest solar CSP project ever built
We have listed 6 big and small solar-powered projects in the MENA region that have inspired us in the hopes that it will do the same for you. Big or small, solar-powered projects in the Middle East and North Africa are transforming our region. Not only do they hold promise of slowly improving air quality […]
One high-tech polymer start-up has developed a coating to solve the problem. The huge and visionary Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii)plan to ship vast amounts of solar to Europe has one glaring potential weakness. Dust. Deserts have all the sun that is needed to power vast cities, and recently, the 3rd Desertec deal was signed, but they also have dust. Lots of it. And little water to clean it. Just one month's dust accumulation in desert conditions can reduce a panels output by 35%, and some even warn that water-intensive CSP is impossible for desert solar. So developing dust-resistant solar will be the next Big Thing.
Algiers will be the place to be for utility-scale solar developers next May. The German trade fair specialists Messe and their Algerian daughter company in Algiers will hold a solar trade fair at the Palais des Expositions d'Alger from 7 to 10 May, 2012. As one of three North African desert nations now at the forefront of responsible climate legislation, through its ambitious solar plans and its participation in the visionary Desertec project, Algeria is ideally situated to host the event.
Desertec takes third step to reality in as many months with Sonelgaz agreement Algeria‘s state-owned Sonelgaz has just signed the third deal in the MENA region to export desert solar power to Europe, with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate with the European Desertec Initiative (DII) in the export of solar from the country, […]
In a marriage made in renewable energy heaven, the two most ambitious energy plans in the world have joined forces. Today, Desertec and Medgrid signed an agreement to strengthen co-operation on building renewable energy from the deserts and the huge grid to move the power. Desertec, which a mere few years ago was just an impractical […]
Renewable Energy professionals from Europe and Egypt (and Green Prophet!) took a field trip to Egypt’s first solar-thermal plant 90km south of Cairo! Brimming with the kind of energy that infuses a school field trip, roughly 80 professionals from the renewable energy industry packed into two large buses outside the Semiramis International Hotel in Cairo […]
Looking deeper into the pitfalls and promise of Desertec at Dii conference in Cairo. Green Prophet’s Tafline is there and reports from the field. Instead of scrambling to find funds and legislative support for the Desertec initiative, a handful of people gathered at the Dii conference in Cairo to explore the project’s overall environmental sustainability. […]
Desertec is a $500 billion solar project to catch Middle East and Africa sun. Tafline is currently at the Desertec Dii conference in Cairo, reporting from the field. Above is Dii’s CEO Paul van Son addressing the Dii conference Just two years ago, Desertec was merely a pin prick of an idea conceived to tap […]
“Deserts get more energy in six hours than the world’s population consumes in a year” – TREC I remember when Desertec was dismissed as a wild idea that would never happen, just the pipe dream of the international network of scientists and engineers of TREC (Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation), who claimed back in 2006 that “mirrors could […]
The free EneR event is a networking and investment platform for those interested in Morocco’s renewable energy markets happening later this month in Casablanca. Morocco is wild, yet for the average business or tourist traveler tame and safe. You can walk out of your riad in Marakesh and get lost in another time. Meander around […]