Africa’s new energy resource?

By Ben Cohen

With Western (and now Eastern) corporations clambering to raid Africa for its oil resources, the hopes for the continent releasing itself from neo-colonial ambitions is still a faint hope. But a more ecologically, and potentially less exploitative alternative may now be a possibility.

From the Guardian:

Europe is considering plans to spend more than £5bn on a string of

giant solar power stations along the Mediterranean desert shores of

northern Africa and the Middle East.


than a hundred of the generators, each fitted with thousands of huge

mirrors, would generate electricity to be transmitted by undersea cable

to Europe and then distributed across the continent to European Union

member nations, including Britain.

Billions of watts of power

could be generated this way, enough to provide Europe with a sixth of

its electricity needs and to allow it to make significant cuts in its

carbon emissions. At the same time, the stations would be used as

desalination plants to provide desert countries with desperately needed

supplies of fresh water.

Last week Prince Hassan bin Talal of

Jordan presented details of the scheme – named Desertec – to the

European Parliament. ‘Countries with deserts, countries with high

energy dem

and, and countries with technology competence must

co-operate,’ he told MEPs.

The project has been developed by the

Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation and is supported by

engineers and politicians in Europe as well as Morocco, Algeria, Libya,

Jordan and other nations in the Middle East and Africa.

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