Dessert of the Desert?

I was dumbstruck when I saw the article “Green Energy on a Gigawatt Scale” by Gene Wolf in the March 2011 issue of “Transmission & Distribution World”.  He references the “DESERTEC Solar Power Project” and includes a map of the project area. To my eyes the map highlights the same area of unrest of the current “Jasmine Revolution”:

This map can be seen on page 11 of the DESERTEC Red Paper.

A Shift of Power from the EU to the Middle East

As noted on their website, the DESERTEC Concept was developed by the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) and the German Association Club of Rome, with

“the aim of promoting the implementation of the global DESERTEC Concept “Clean Power from Deserts” all over the world”.

DESERTEC’s  plan is to build a power grid of solar thermal power plants within the desert regions of the Middle East; thus supplying power for the “EUMENA” region (Europe, Middle East and North Africa).

Noted as next on the agenda from the “DESERTEC Red Paper”, offering a

closure premium“ for inefficient written-off coal-fired power plants in south-European countries if their capacities are replaced with the import of clean power from deserts”.

Also found in the news area of the DESERTEC website:

“Change in Government has Opened the Door For Energy Revolution”

“After the success of political upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia,

experts are optimistic concerning a transition to the use of renewable energies. Hani Nokraschy, Vice Chairman of the DESERTEC Foundation, sees the revolution in Egypt as very positive for the implementation of the ambitious DESERTEC project.  Building up a new renewable energy industry and infrastructure will not only create prospects for young generations in this region but will also be an approach to the shortage of drinking water, climate change and the growing

demand for energy in North Africa”.

Another DESERTEC news item dated April 11 2011:

“Progress for DESERTEC in Tunisia”

“After Morocco, where the first reference power plant of North Africa is in planning, DESERTEC should now be intensified specifically in Tunisia. For this purpose, the Dii GmbH in cooperation with the Tunisian state energy company STEG started work on a feasibility study for the construction of solar thermal power plants and wind energy projects. In addition, the Dii GmbH wants to open an office in Tunis to accelerate the implementation of DESERTEC through close cooperation with the Tunisian government”.

What’s Next: Spread It Around the Globe

Again from the DESERTEC News:

“The Time Has Come:  Creating the Political Frame Work”

“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 soluble everywhere.  It is in everyone’s interests that political leaders throughout the world take the necessary steps to facilitate DESERTEC developments”.

(Above bold emphasis added).

I recall the recent Federal Land Map showing a large land grab in the US West;

How much of this government owned land is also located in a desert region?

Talk about a “power grab”.   Per the Transmission & Distribution article (mentioned at the beginning of the top of the page) it is cited that The New York Times reported “nine solar plants are currently in permitting.  If approved, they will cover 41,229 acres of Bureau of Land Management land”.

Government owned power indeed.

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10 years ago

oh, crap…