The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) is an initiative, in the field of renewable forms of energy, of The Club of Rome, the Hamburg Climate Protection Foundation and the National Energy Research Center of Jordan (NERC).
The core of TREC is an international network of scientists, politicians and experts in the field of renewable forms of energy and their development. The members of TREC (nearly 50 in number including His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan) are in regular contact with national governments and with private investors, aiming to communicate the benefits that may be obtained from the cooperative use of solar and wind energy and promoting specific projects in this field.
Since it was founded in September 2003, it has developed the DESERTEC concept for energy, water and climate security in EUrope, the Middle East and North Africa (EU-MENA), building on the cooperation of sun-belt and technology belt. Now TREC is making this concept a reality in cooperation with people in politics, industry and the world of finance.
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 High Voltage Direct Current (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:
- definition and reconciliation of needs and interests of all affected sides,
- design and size of the technological infrastructure including power plants and grids,
- nvestments 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 the affected population
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.