Firms plan green energy power lines under Med

Jul 05, 2010
France's Minister for Ecology Jean-Louis Borloo speaks during a press conference at the Environment Ministry in Paris to present the Mediterranean electricity network project called Transgreen. The project aims at creating a consortium of companies to build a vast network of undersea electricity lines to bring solar power from Africa to Europe, under the leadership of French energy.

An industrial consortium launched preparations on Monday for a possible future power grid under the Mediterranean that would carry solar energy from Africa to Europe.

The Transgreen group hopes that solar farms planned in the will generate 20 gigawatts of electricity by 2020, and that a quarter of this could be fed into the European market.

For this to happen, undersea cables will have to be laid, a project that experts estimate could cost up to eight billion euros (10 billion dollars).

As of Monday's launch, the group has assigned only two million to three million euros to promote the technology and to study the feasibility of the plan.

"These highways are absolutely essential," said France's environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo at the launch, underlining that European consumers could help offset the cost of North Africa's .

French-based energy giant EDF will lead the consortium, supported by a dozen more major firms including France's Areva and Alstom, Spain's Abengoa and RED Electrica and Germany's Siemens.

The group's office will be operational by the end of the year.

Transgreen's energy transport grid is to be developed in parallel with the Desertec project, a German-led plan to build a vast network of wind and sun farms across North Africa and the Middle East.

Promoters hope this will provide the region with cheap, clean power and leave enough spare to be exported to Europe and cover 15 percent of its needs.

Explore further: Dismantling Germany's nuclear industry, piece by piece

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slaveunit
not rated yet Jul 05, 2010
I would be interested to see how keen europe really would be to be dependent on unstable north african goverments to supply them with energy after the problems thay are having in the east with gas. i think more effort on geothermal is the best solution but though i am not a fan of it nuclear will probably be the middle term answer.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Jul 05, 2010
Want to see some real AGW? cover the entire surface of the Sahara in black solar panels instead of white and yellow sand. We'll be BAKING ladies, baking...
tarheelchief
not rated yet Jul 07, 2010
This is great news for European motorists who will be converting to electric vehicles.
frajo
not rated yet Jul 07, 2010
I would be interested to see how keen europe really would be to be dependent on unstable north african goverments to supply them with energy after the problems thay are having in the east with gas.
Better two potentially unstable suppliers than one potentially unstable supplier.