MENA could Earn $90 Billion Annually from Desertec Solar Power Project

DUBAI - The Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, region stand to earn $90 billion annually from the sale of electricity in long-term fixed contracts to Europe expected to be drawn up under the ambitious $560-billion solar energy project of the Desertec consortium.

By Rocel Felix

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Published: Wed 22 Jul 2009, 1:21 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 10:29 PM

Consulting company A.T. Kearney said if the project is implemented and becomes successful, it will translate into an investment/payback ratio of 1:5.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative, or DII, the world’s grandest solar power project, will map out investment plans by 2012 to develop carbon-free energy that could supply up to 15 percent of Europe’s needs by 2050, while also supplying the growing energy demand in the MENA countries. Twelve companies last July 13 signed a memorandum of understanding to establish DII by October 31, with spending plans to be released within the next three years.

The consortium members include German engineering company Siemens, German insurer Munich Re, Deutsche Bank, German utilities RWE and EON, Spain’s power company Abengoa, Zurich’s electricity grid builder ABB, Algerian firm Cevital, European bank HSH Nordbank, engineering company M+W Zander, and solar firms Schott Solar and Solar Millennium.

“The challenge is to establish a future electricity supply that mixes available technologies and resources capable of satisfying not only the criterion of power on demand, but meets other criteria for sustainability as well,” explained Dr Dirk Buchta, vice-president and managing director, A.T. Kearney Middle East.


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