EU to import solar power from Sahara desert

23 Jun 2010
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Sahara Solar power generated in the Sahara desert is to be imported by the European Union within the next few years.

Guenther Oettinger, Europe's energy commissioner, said hundreds of megawatts could be brought to the European market between now and 2015.

Speaking to Reuters, he confirmed that this could go up significantly if initial pilot schemes yield positive results.

This could help move the European Union closer to meeting its target of having a fifth of its power generated from renewable energy sources in ten years' time.

However, Mr Oettinger insisted that Europe has no desire to exploit the natural resources on offer in Africa.

"Renewables are a two-way partnership because electricity produced here is for the home market of north African countries," he commented.

This would be transferred to Europe via newly-built cables called inter-connectors, which would be placed beneath the Mediterranean Sea.

The European Union is currently aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.
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