Algeria’s renewable energy programme already includes several large-scale industrial initiatives. According to Algeria’s ten-year plan, renewable sources will generate 6-8% of electricity production by 2020 and as much a
Algeria is ready to begin long-term co-operation with the Desertec Industrial Initiative, Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said Thursday (May 19th) after meeting in Algiers with Desertec chief Paul Van Son.
Siemens, Deutche Bank and nearly a dozen other European industrial, engineering and finance companies partnered for the 400 billion-euro Desertec project to deliver energy to Europe from solar farms in North Africa and the Middle East.
Algeria’s renewable energy programme already includes several large-scale industrial initiatives. According to Algeria’s ten-year plan, renewable sources will generate 6-8% of electricity production by 2020 and as much as 35% by 2040.
Already in June 2010, the Minister of Energy and Mines of Algeria Youcef Yousfi indicated that "Algeria is evaluating the German offer but we have to say that our country aims at giving birth to a bigger project than Desertec." This happened to the chagrin of the private Algerian group involved in the project, Cevital.
The Desertec Industrial Initiative was formally launched last year by a group of 12 European companies, mostly from Germany. Last Monday (August 30), Paul van Son, the director of the group, said he was now also concerned about declining German government support for the project.
To push the project forward, Desertec was wooing potential investors from the Middle East and north Africa, he said. "We are in intensive talks with companies in the MENA region, which we are trying to win as new shareholders," Mr van Son told, without naming any candidates.
In March, the US company First Solar joined Desertec as its first member from outside Europe. Mr. van Son had said five companies from Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, France and Italy had agreed to join the consortium. But no confirmatory announcements have followed.
The group’s other existing partners include Munich Re, Deutsche Bank, RWE, E.ON, HSH Nordbank and Siemens from Germany, the Swiss ABB, Italy’s Enel, Spain’s Red Electrica and the French group Saint-Gobain.
Desertec plans to build a network of solar thermal power plants in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East with the aim of supplying renewable electricity in Europe.