The DESERTEC concept
of TREC is to boost the generation of electricity and desalinated water by Solar Thermal Power Plants and wind turbines in MENA
and to transmit clean electrical power via H
urrent ( HVDC
) transmission lines throughout those areas and as from 2020 to other MENA-states (including Europe). The technologies
that are needed for the realisation of this concept are already fully developed and have been in use for decades. Several studies by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
confirm the viability and usefulness of realising this concept very soon.
The TREC-Network, which developed the DESERTEC Concept, has achieved a great deal since the first edition of the WhiteBook was presented to the European Parliament. It has – with mounting support by others – brought the DESERTEC Concept to the attention of policy makers throughout EUMENA and also worldwide. In the recently established Union for the Mediterranean, the French Presidency has put the DESERTEC Concept on their political agenda.
The Solar Plan of the Union for the Mediterranean is a powerful political structure. However, to exploit its great potential, we still have to overcome barriers and win the race against the climate change clock. The WhiteBook has already made clear that the technology is there. Now we need a wise elaboration: design and size of the technological infrastructure including power plants and grids, investments models, balanced schemes for local and transregional energy and water supply, design of institutional frameworks (companies, public supply, monitoring), stakeholder involvement, economic and democratic participation of local communities and population, definition and reconciliation of needs and interests of all affected sides.
To strengthen and intensify the initiatives and endeavours of the TREC-Network, TREC has – with support from His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal and the German Association for the Club of Rome – created a new organization called the DESERTEC Foundation (DF)
which is based in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Paul Metz
, has represented the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5) in TREC.Sebastian Gallehr
, CED of e5, is personally cofounder of the DESERTEC Foundation.