I find the Desertec project incredibly interesting, for two main reasons—it’s low carbon, and it’s secure energy.
We need to make the transition to low-carbon energy, and I welcome solar power at home, in the EU, and indeed anywhere in the world. The Desertec concept, and the Mediterranean Solar Plan, can potentially make arid regions productive.
The sun will always shine in North Africa and the Middle East, its rays will always be available, and the taps can’t be turned off from this energy source. As the Prime Minister noted at the Euromed Summit in July 2008, Concentrated Solar Power could offer a serious and vital long-term alternative to oil and gas, and be a real source of economic benefit for the region and its neighbours. Clearly, this will require investment—in improving the EU grid, enhancing interconnection, developing technologies and building production facilities. It will be up to governments to create the framework to encourage such investment.
It was fascinating to meet the Moroccan delegation to hear more about their part in this ambitious project. If their enthusiasm and ingenuity can make it work, then it will open up a wealth of possibilities.