“Tunisia is ready to support DII (Desertec Industrial Initiative, the world’s most ambitious solar power initiative founded three years ago,) which will allow it to diversify its energy resources, increase fourfold its power production and become an important energy crossing point with the European Union,” said Mamia El Benna Zayani, Environment Minister who represented Tunisia at the third annual conference on desert energies held last november 7-9 in Berlin.
The DESERTEC Concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which arose the DESERTEC Foundation.
Choosing the best locations offers the greatest benefits in fighting global warming
DESERTEC demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and development by generating sustainable power from the sites where renewable sources of energy are at their most abundant. These sites can be used thanks to High-Voltage Direct Current transmission. In contrast to conventional AC transmission, HVDC can carry electricity generated from renewables over long distances with losses of just 3 percent per 1,000 kilometers.
Energy is available in abundance and we have the technology to use it
All kinds of renewables will be used in the DESERTEC Concept, but the sun-rich deserts of the world play a special role: within six hours, deserts receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year. Thanks to heat storage tanks, concentrating solar-thermal power plants in deserts can supply electricity on demand day and night. This makes them an ideal complement to fluctuating energy sources such as wind and photovoltaic power and allows a higher percentage of these variable energy sources to be used in the future electricity mix.
DESERTEC is applicable across the world
As 90 percent of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of deserts, DESERTEC can be realized not only in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA), but also in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Africa, the Americas, Australia, India and in the whole of East Asia where suitable deserts are within reach of the centers of demand.
DESERTEC combines climate protection and energy security with development and security policy
DESERTEC is a comprehensive solution that not only aims to cover our increasing energy needs, but also to reduce carbon emissions before global warming gets out of control. Alongside climate protection and ensuring the energy supply, it also has many benefits in terms of development and security. The scientific basis of the DESERTEC Concept is described here.