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Business

Desertec projects moves beyond planning stage

European and North African governments have ushered in a new implementation phase of an ambitious green energy project called Desertec. It hopes to bring renewable energy from Africa to Europe.

A number of governments in Europe and North Africa have redoubled their efforts to finally get an ambitious green energy project off the ground, Germany's daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported on Wednesday.

France and Germany, whose Desertec Industry Initiative aims to source future European energy supplies from solar and wind power produced in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East, have been important financial supporters in the initial phase.

The two nations have been joined by Spain, Italy and Morocco for intensive talks on letting the project finally take shape. According to newspaper reports, negotiations are under way on building a 600-million-euro ($778 million) solar power station in Morocco which is to transport energy to the European mainland.

Pilot project

The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" said a corresponding declaration of intent would be signed as early as November this year. It added that a government-level multinational agreement would be inked in the first half of 2013, quoting Morocco's Industry Minister, Abdelkader Amara.

Desertec Chief Paul van Son stated the solar power plant in question would be built between 2014 and 2016 and would eventually have a capacity of 150 Megawatts.

The project will be co-financed by industry, national governments and international energy organizations. Nations other than those already involved in the scheme would be welcome to join in the process, the industry initiative said.

hg/hc (Reuters, AFP)