Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Siemens, Bosch, and Spain: Just Say No to Desertec

The ambitious plan to build huge solar power plants in North Africa to feed into the European power grid, has suffered some significant setbacks recently. Industrial giants Siemens and Bosch, as well as the government of Spain, are indicating that they are no longer interested in the expensive boondoggle.
An ambitious plan to provide 15% of Europe's power needs from solar plants in North Africa has run into trouble.

The Desertec initiative hoped to deliver electricity from a network of renewable energy sources to Europe via cables under the sea.

But in recent weeks, two big industrial backers have pulled out. And the Spanish government has baulked at signing an agreement to build solar power plants in Morocco.

...According to Dr Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe, a professor at the University of Linz in Austria and an expert on African solar resources, this is not good news.

"Siemens and Bosch are very big companies," he told BBC News, "if they don't want to support this initiative it is going to be difficult for Desertec.

...Prof Peter Droege is the head of Eurosolar, the European association for renewable energy: ... "I think it is struggling to find a reason to continue - It is clear it's lost its original purpose, it is looking for a new direction," he commented..._BBC
Grand and exorbitant schemes of this type do hold a certain appeal -- until one begins to look more closely at the details. Eventually it will dawn on almost everyone that such schemes are impractical, "feel-good" scams, run for the benefit of developers and administrators of the projects themselves. In the end, taxpayers always lose when forced to pay for intermittent unreliable sources of energy.

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

I wonder if it would be any good to just replace all the green stuff with power plants and make the network anyway. After, that is, Europe's economy finishes collapsing into the Middle Ages and some sort of recovery begins. In addition to power needs for Africa, Europe might want to buy power from countries which still allow power plants to be built.

4:01 PM  
Blogger robjoh said...

Sorry for my bad English, I am from Sweden so it is my second language.

First: I really like your blog and I hope that you will keep posting.

Second: Every time I see these maps they have Hydropower from Sweden and Norway as a way to balance the intermediate power source that sun and wind are. You find the same rhetorical ideas from Denmark or the environment party of Sweden. Use our waterpower to balance the irregular wind and sun power. The problem, if I remember correctly from the discussion in Swedish media, is that Swedish water power can only theoretical balance around 10 TWh/year. Of course I might be possible for Norway to add more water power, the can atleast produce more water power than Sweden, but 10 TWh/year is not even enough for Swedish use. So the plan to use water power from Sweden to balance the power supply in Europe is insane, we cannot even do it in Sweden.

12:03 AM  

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