Jul 09, 2009
Siemens backs €400bn plan to harvest energy from Africa's desertsBack
Engineering|Johannesburg|Munich|Africa|Energy|Flow|Industrial|PROJECT|Siemens|Systems|Africa|Europe|Germany|EUR|Electrical Engineering Group|Electricity Needs|Electricity Requirements|Energy|Flow|Mega-renewable-energy Project|Megarenewable-energy Project|Systems|Transmission Technology Elements|Transmission-technology Elements|Wind Energy|Europe|North Africa|Power|Siegfried Russwurm|Middle East|North Africa
© Reuse this
The project, dubbed 'Desertec', could emerge as the biggest development project in Africa's history and involve a total investment of €400-billion. Its proponents believe that it could supply from 15% to 20% of Europe's electricity requirements by 2050.
Siemens would be one of several industrial companies to formally sign up to the initiative, as well as the so-called Desertec Industrial Initiative, when it was launched on July 13, in Munich, Germany.
Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg, Russwurm said that he was convinced that the solar-, wind- and transmission-technology elements necessary to develop the megarenewable-energy project were available, both within Siemens and from other industrial participants.
A range of countries and organisation had already formed a consortium to back the concept, which would involve the production of electricity in solar thermal, or concentrating solar, power plants in the desert regions of North Africa, as well as at wind farms in Africa and off the coasts of Europe.
The power arising could be carried over long distances by high-voltage direct-current transmission systems to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Proponents argued that the latent solar potential in the world's desert regions would be sufficient to generate power for more than 4 800 h/y. They add that these regions receive more energy in six hours than can be consumed in one year.
However, Russwurm cautioned that it would be premature to put figures to the potential order flow hat could arise in favour of Siemens, noting that major feasibility investigations were still required.
Nevertheless, he described the project as "courageous" and likened it in significance and scale to the laying of the first transcontinental telecommunications lines.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Electricity News
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...