Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation

Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation

DESERTEC is a project supported by a foundation of the same name and the consortium Dii (Desertec industrial initiative) created in Germany as a limited liability company (GmbH). The project aims at creating a global renewable energy plan based on the concept of harnessing sustainable power from sites where renewable sources of energy are more abundant and transferring it through high-voltage direct current transmission to consumption centers. All kinds of renewable energy sources are envisioned, but the sun-rich deserts of the world play a special role. By taking into account land and water use, DESERTEC is intended to offer an integrated solution to food and water shortages in the coming decades.

DESERTEC was developed by the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC), a voluntary organization founded in 2003 by the Club of Rome and the National Energy Research Center Jordan, made up of scientists and experts from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA). It is from this network that the DESERTEC Foundation later emerged as a non-profit organization tasked with promoting the DESERTEC solution around the world. Founding members of the foundation are the German Association of the Club of Rome, members of the network of scientists TREC as well as committed private supporters and long-time promoters of the DESERTEC idea. In 2009, the DESERTEC Foundation founded the Munich-based industrial initiative 'Dii GmbH' together with partners from the industrial and finance sectors. Its task is to accelerate the implementation of the DESERTEC Concept in the focus region EU-MENA.

The scientific studies done by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) between 2004 and 2007 demonstrated that the desert sun could meet rising power demand in the MENA region, whilst also helping to power Europe, reduce carbon emissions across the EU-MENA region and power desalination plants to provide freshwater to the MENA region. Dii GmbH published a further study called Desert Power 2050 in June 2012. It found that the MENA region would be able to meet its needs for power with renewable energy, while exporting its excess power to create an export industry with an annual volume of more than €60 billion. Meanwhile, by importing desert power, Europe could save around €30/MWh.

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