Firms plan green energy power lines under Med

France's Minister for Ecology Jean-Louis Borloo at the launch of Transgreen in Paris
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.


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(c) 2010 AFP

Citation: Firms plan green energy power lines under Med (2010, July 5) retrieved 4 December 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-firms-green-energy-power-lines.html
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