Firms hoping to tap African sun to power German households

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16 Jun, 2009 Updated Tue 16 Jun 2009 09:18 CEST
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A consortium of 20 top firms is planning a massive solar power project in sunny Africa to send electricity to grey Germany.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday reported Munich Re, Siemens, Deutsche Bank und RWE had joined forces to invest €400 billion in an unprecedented effort to tap the plentiful sunshine in the North African desert for households in Europe.

“We want to start an initiative to put concrete plans on the table in two to three years,” said Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek.

Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, is leading the project, which aims to have solar power flowing to Germany within the next decade. Industrial giant Siemens is a top power plant manufacturer and RWE is Germany’s second-largest energy utility.

The consortium will meet in Munich on July 13 for the first time to discuss what is being billed as the largest private initiative for solar power ever.

Dubbed “Desertec,” the project would connect several solar power facilities across the Maghreb region. Jeworrek said the top criterion is that they are built in politically stable countries.

“Technically the project is feasible,” he told the paper.

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2009/06/16 09:18

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