Inhabitat has a post on the DESERTEC proposal for the Sahara, which continues to inch forward - $555 Billion Sahara Solar Energy Belt Takes Giant Step Forward. TreeHugger has a related post - The Sahara Forest Project Is a Visionary "Do".
A giant step has been made in what will be the world’s largest renewable energy project. While previously just a grand vision for the production of clean energy in the Saharan desert, the project now has a core group of backers and a signed agreement between 12 companies wanting to move forward with the $555 billion renewable energy belt. The 12 collaborators signed articles of association last week for the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative (DII), which will work to bring more companies and groups on board as well as focus on regulations and conditions to get the project successfully completed and generating pure power from the sun.
The DESERTEC Foundation vision is to install 100 GW of solar power throughout Northern Africa, with the goal of supplying 15% of Europe’s energy demand with clean renewable power. So far a number of blue chip and powerful companies have signed on to be part of the project, including ABB, ABENGOA Solar, Cevital, DESERTEC Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, M+W Zander, RWE, SCHOTT Solar, and Siemens. The project will link multiple solar concentrating facilities around coastal North Africa and transmit most of the renewable energy through high-voltage DC lines to Europe. Additionally, desalination plants will be coupled with the solar concentrating plants to bring fresh water to people in Africa.