Giant MENA solar project takes next step
Company formed; new Desertec CEO appointed
The Desertec Industrial Initiative, a plan to ship electricity to Europe via a vast solar array network in the deserts of the MENA region, has taken its latest step through the signing of articles of assocation to create a limited company.
Twelve companies signed the documents that have established DII GmbH, and Paul Van Son has been elected as CEO. Van Son has previously held roles has managing director of Deutsche Essent and Econcern.
“We recognise and strongly support the Desertec vision as a pivotal part of the transition to a sustainable energy supply in the MENA countries and Europe," said Van Son.
"Now the time has come to turn this vision into reality. That implies intensive cooperation with many parties and cultures to create a sound basis for feasible investments into renewable energy technologies and interconnected grids.
"The DII will primarily focus on the economic, technical and regulatory conditions that must be fulfilled for successful project implementation. Early reference projects will allow us to learn for further rollout plans by the DII and other parties,” he added.
Since an announcement in July that launched the Desertec initiative, the project has been working to gain political and government support from Middle Eastern and European countries.
Shareholders of the DII are ABB, ABENGOA Solar, Cevital, DESERTEC Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, M+W Zander, RWE, SCHOTT Solar and Siemens.
Questions have been raised as to whether the project is viable, especially given the estimated US $55 billion price tag.
Read Utilities Middle East's assessment of the Desertec Industrial Initiative here.