It looks like the DESERTEC proposal is beginning to receive some much needed political support with more than 100 MPs (106 at the last count) having now signed Early Day Motion 123. This calls on the government to put its weight behind the development of concentrating solar power (CSP) in desert regions and a ‘supergrid’ of low-loss transmission lines spanning the whole of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr Howard Stoate MP, who posted the EDM, said “I’m delighted that these ‘DESERTEC’ proposals are winning support. CSP in desert regions has colossal potential as a source of clean energy for the world. In the light of increasingly urgent warnings from climate scientists about the need for action to cut worldwide emissions of CO2, we cannot ignore what is probably the single most effective means of cutting those emissions.
“Plentiful supplies of clean energy will increase energy security for everyone. Countries throughout the whole of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East can begin to benefit quite soon from this source of energy via the existing transmission grid. As quantities increase, the grid may be upgraded by removing bottlenecks, and by installing ‘HVDC’ technologies and smart electronics.”
Dr Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of DESERTEC-UK, said “It has been calculated that less than 1% of the world’s deserts could generate as much electricity as the world is now using. And it is feasible and economic to supply 90% of the world’s people from this source via low-loss transmission lines. The whole of the USA and the big cities in Canada may be supplied from the sunny south west of the USA, all of China may be supplied with electricity from CSP plants in the sunny north and west of the country, all of India and Pakistan may be supplied with electricity from the Thar desert. There is similar potential in the south and west of Africa, in Australia, South America, and more.”