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Another Perk for Desertec Solar Project: 240,000 New German Jobs

By Stacy Feldman

Jul 8, 2009

More practically, the German Aerospace Center has shown that CSP plants in the Sahara could generate more than 50 percent of the electricity needs of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa in just 40 years.

Desertec has crunched the numbers on jobs: Just one 250 MW parabolic trough power plant requires 1,000 workers and engineers for a period of two to three years.

Of course, turning North Africa into a solar (and green employment) hub is hardly a one-nation job or responsibility. On top of the actual solar plants, the project requires quick establishment of expensive low-loss, long-distance high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines to export the power across the Mediterranean and into Europe.

The technology is ready to go. But deploying it would require cooperation, financing and favorable new laws and regulations from Germany and all the relevant EU nations and host African countries. No easy task, though the Desertec team remains optimistic:

Creating that favourable commercial environment is relatively easy in countries like Australia, China, India and the USA, where there is only one government involved, and it is harder to achieve when different countries have to co-operate (as in the EU and nearby sunbelt countries). However, with the right political will, these problems are solvable everywhere. It is in everyone’s interests that political leaders throughout the world take the necessary steps to facilitate DESERTEC developments.


See also:

Holy Solar Funding: Project Desertec to Get $500 Billion Cash Infusion?

Plan to Turn Africa into the Saudi Arabia of Solar Gains Traction

Desert Solar Could Meet 25% of World’s Power Needs by 2050

Solar Plan Would End Dependence on Foreign Oil for Cost of Iraq War

Breakthrough: Concentrated Solar Power All Over Southwest US

1,000 Acres of Giant Solar Mirrors to Rise in Israel's Desert, Finally

Yet Another Spanish Firm to Harvest Solar in Southwestern U.S.

World’s Largest Sky-Scraping Solar Plant Goes Live in Spain

Australia Finally Powers Up Investment for Large Solar Plants


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So, Is It About Power or German Businesses?

Note that Desertec's major backers are huge global conglomerates with interests in the centralized distribution of electricity.

I suspect that the success of off grid and grid-tied PV systems has begun to threaten their power, and this exhorbitant project with its unresolved geo-political complexities is the perfect way to get control back.

The PR campaign for Desrtec has been aggressive, and it is very hard to find articles that EXPLAIN exactly how things will work, how they will be funded, and who will have ownership of the plants. Instead, one stumbles constantly upon numerous replications of Desertec's own press releases, using their projections, their figures and their promises.

IMHO, Desertec tech is another white elephant begging to be shot down. Europe needs to curb wasteful power consumption, and also let the PV and feed-in-tariff system that has made many net generators of energy continue to give consumers independence and control. The Middle-East and North Africa is a geopolitical mess, and it is unlikely that the prospects of generating Europe's electricity will unite the volatile region.

The question about Africa South of the Sahara remains relevant. Isn't Desertec going to widen the split in the continent?

what does Africa get out of

what does Africa get out of this?

In the first step most of

In the first step most of the produced energy is used in the african states. Just a little will be exported. Every state can choose this by its own interests. This is a schedule till 2050. Another big point is that as a side effect large quantities of drinking water can be produced with the waste heat.

What about Africa?

We've heard a lot about the benefits for Europe in this scheme, and I am sure the European nations would love to solve their energy problems by using Africa's desert areas. But what does Africa get out of this? Precious little I'll wager. So we have Europeans plundewring African resources...hang on, isn't that a familiar story?

What about Africa _ how about all natural resource development?

While not wishing to argue the point regards Europeans, Americans, Chinese, Indians and who- knows-who-else who have been exploiting Africa's resources, let's face the fact that the Africans may be either unaware, unconcerned, and/or unprepared to develop solar energy potential which is recognized by some very aware and enterprising Germans. In Europe, German development and promotion of solar energy technology and applications is currently unparalleled; perhaps, they should be applauded for attempting to undertake a project to exploit a resource which others choose to ignore - who knows? Does Roger know? If one is concerned about the welfare of the Africans, join the crowd. As I understand, few African countries have managed to even develop governing policies and practices which benefit their own inhabitants; perhaps Roger could spend his time and efforts pursuing answers to such problems. We are all aware that resource development companies from the countries mentioned above will go anywhere and do anything to pursue their selfish profiteering objectives. Meanwhile one can hope that the German solar developers are aware to the extent that know better than to despoil the local environment in the destructive manner so characteristic of the oil and mineral development companies. Who knows, they may even evolve some truely useful and positive techniques.

there are huge job opportuity.

240,000 New German Jobs will bring a lot of befinites to germany.

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