Nur Energie, a developer of solar power, plans a 2 GW Concentrated Solar Power Plant in Tunisia and deliver the solar energy through a dedicated cable to Italy.
Nur Energie, a developer of solar power, plans a 2 GW Concentrated Solar Power Plant in Tunisia and deliver the solar energy through a dedicated cable to Italy. This would be enough electricity to power 2.5 million homes in the UK. The company is hoping to start delivering solar power from the plant in Tunisia as soon as 2018.
In Nur Energie’s case the heat is turned into a liquid which generates steam to power the steam turbine. The liquid can then be stored for later use.
The CEO of Nur Energie, Kevin Sara, explained that there are many advantages to producing solar energy in the Sahara Desert and then transporting it to Europe. The sun is abundant in Sub Saharan Africa, so much so that it costs less to build a CSP plant than to build a conventional power plant. Sara also told Bloomberg TV, that his method of delivering electricity to Europe would cost England 20% less than offshore wind. The cable to transport the power would be similar to the gas pipeline that already exists. In fact, the cable would run parallel to the existing gas pipeline, crossing through Algeria and Tunisia.
Sara admitted that there are significant hurdles for his project. There are regulatory, technical and commercial challenges. Altogether, the projected cost of the project is $10 Billion Euro, although it is backed by Deutsche Bank and Low Carbon, a UK renewable energy investor. Additionally, Europe’s own grids are not well interconnected for energy sharing, so Nur Energie will have to figure out how to deliver power around Europe if it wants to expand its market.