Will Politics Cost Us the Battle Against Climate Change ?
In a recent article in The Guardian, Leo Hickman details the ambitious project in the Sahara Desert, whose aim is to provide 15% of Europe's electricity from solar power by 2050.
The project is currently owned by Desertec Industrial Initiative, a consortium formed in 2009, whose shareholders include heavy weight German companies such as Siemens and Deutsche Bank, together with other partners from Europe and the MENA region. The cost of this project ? It has been tentatively estimated at 400 Billion Euro (yes that's Billion)!
The first question that comes to mind, which has also been mentioned in this article, is which African country is going to let Germany or Europe come in with their heavy trucks and machinery to build a solar project for Europe ? What about them ?
The first project which is set to start in Morocco is already facing such issues as the Moroccan government stated that it will first make sure that there is enough solar power to supply his country before selling any of it to Europe.
On the other hand, the technology is largely owned by German companies, in fact the only two companies in the world able to make the glass tube receivers are Schott Solar and Siemens, both German.
The second question and perhaps the most important one is, who will pay the 400 Billion Euros ? The year 2011 marked several historical events that might derail this whole project before it even starts.
The EU economy went in decline and recent spending cuts by Germany, Spain, Greece and the UK all included reducing or cutting subsidies for renewable energy installations including solar power.Continued on the next page