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Press Release

Herausgeber: Dii GmbH

Desertec means climate protection

- To COP 18: Dii demands reliable investment conditions for renewable energy

Munich - The 18th Climate Change Conference (COP 18), designed to facilitate negotiations aimed at curbing global greenhouse gas emissions, begins today in Doha (Qatar). The urgency of the problem is indisputable. Just last week, the World Bank released a report that of the drastic consequences of unchecked global warming. By following a business as usual scenario, the authors claim, the world is on a course that will lead to a global temperature increase of four degrees Celsius by the end of the twenty-first century. While in some regions of the world the risk of heavy rainfall could increase dramatically, other regions will be severely affected by drought.

\"We have long been aware of the devastating effects, and we also know the solution: the massive expansion of renewable energy. Now we finally have to act,\" says Paul van Son, CEO of Dii. Established in 2009, this industrial initiative is focused on creating an industrial-scale market for renewable energy from the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East. \"A connected power system between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East (EUMENA) based on solar and wind power plants is able to reduce CO2 emissions dramatically and to do so in a particularly cost-effective way,\" says van Son. That is because in such a power system electricity can be produced at the sites with optimal wind conditions and solar irradiation. Moreover, the fluctuations of renewable energy can be compensated without the construction of expensive storage units.

While Europe is struggling with the euro crisis, many African markets are flourishing. The electricity demand there will increase dramatically over the coming years and decades. In Morocco, for example, by the year 2050 there is expected to be a five-fold increase in the level of demand in 2010. Should this hunger for energy be satisfied with fossil fuels there will be disastrous and all-too-predictable consequences for the global climate. Power generation in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East will help these countries to separate improvements in the overall quality of life from the availability of fossil or nuclear fuels. With the construction of new power plants and network infrastructures Europe’s economy can benefit from much-needed innovativeness. Electricity imported from MENA’s desert regions offers Europe the opportunity to reduce its CO2 emissions effectively, while simultaneously diversifying its energy supply.

Available money should be used towards a sustainable future
To meet the growing power needs of the entire EUMENA region, the installation of hundreds of gigawatts of utility PV, CSP, and on-shore as well as off-shore wind is required. Moreover, the construction of a wide-area HVDC grid is needed to conduct the generated electricity from the best production sites to the major centers of consumption. \"Of course that will cost money. But the expansion of conventional power plants wouldn’t cost less, in addition to leading to the known consequences for the global climate, \"says Paul van Son.

In its latest climate report, the World Bank appeals to governments around the world to re-channel the approximately 775 billion euros in overall subsidies for coal and other fossil fuels to alternative energy. \"I only can underline that,\" said van Son. The CEO of Dii urges policy-makers to provide secure investment conditions for major projects in the renewable energy sector. Only then will international markets for electricity generated from renewable energy sources come into being. \"If such agreements are possible for natural gas pipelines such as Nord Stream and South Stream, why shouldn’t that work for power lines between the Mediterranean countries?,\" asks van Son.

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In an EUMENA power system based on renewable energy, solar and wind energy is produced in areas with optimal resources in North Africa and the Middle East. A significant part of the electricity is used locally. A smaller part is exported to Europe. Large amounts of wind and water power from the Scandinavian countries are also required to meet the needs of the entire region.

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About Dii
With its 57 partners from 16 countries, Dii is looking to turn the Desertec vision into reality. The activities of the industry initiative, which was founded in 2009, are focused on creating an industrial-scale market by 2050 for renewable energies from the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East. These activities include the development of integrated energy markets and the identification of suitable technologies for generating and transmitting energy.

Munich, 26 November 2012

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Attention editorial offices: For further questions please contact

Dii GmbH
Klaus Schmidtke
Head of Communications, Dii
Kaiserstr. 14
80801 München
Tel. +49 89 340 77 0520
Email: schmidtke@dii-eumena.com
Web: http://www.dii-eumena.com


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