Desertec plan to power Europe from North Africa solar in peril

Desertec is a consortium of large corporations and governments that wants to build humongous concentrated solar power plants in North Africa and the Middle East that would power Europe.

I’ve always thought the Desertec plan was a bit dicey, given the its obvious overtones of colonialism and exploitation coupled with using CSP rather than photovoltaic. CSP reflects the heat of the sun to a central tower where it drives steam turbines and requires large amounts of water, something which is always in short supply in deserts.

Siemens and Bosch have recently pulled out of the plan and Spain is balking, citing costs.

“The governments get cold feet for one reason, Desertec needs too much support in tax money – all the public budgets are over borrowed – and tax money is not easily available,” [German Green MP] Mr Fell said.

Possible funding from China appears to be the last chance for Desertec.