Germany Backs DESERTEC Alliance

 Germany Backs DESERTEC Alliance

Staff Writers Hamburg, Germany Jul 24, 2013

German Foreign office has expressed continued support for the DESERTEC programme to develop North African solar farms to benefit North Africa and Europe. One of the questions being askied is will the local population be able to participate in and to benefit from industrial-scale projects? The DESERTEC Foundation is very convinced they will.

DESERTEC places issues like water scarcity and energy poverty in the centre of its vision. Since there is, however, a multitude of different actors involved in the realisation of the vision, all of them pursuing their own aims, the DESERTEC Foundation has resolved to develop criteria for large-scale power plant projects.

These criteria are intended to take the claims and expectations into consideration of people from all parts of civil society as well as justified interests from the industry involved in the realisation of such projects.

"We are well aware of the fact that we cannot design those criteria in a theoretical approach by desktop work but rather by joining into an honest dialogue with people from the respective regions. Our aim in conducting this dialogue is to combine legitimate interests of investors and companies with important demands for a reasonable regional development", says Wolfgang Dorner, Head of Projects at the DESERTEC Foundation.

The first step is to identify representatives of civil society who are expected to provide a reasonable contribution to this dialogue. It is individuals who engage in non-governmental and non-profit organisations for social issues, sustainable development and the environment who are needed. Also local and municipal interest groups and people within the immediate vicinity of large-scale power plants are within the focus of this project.

DESERTEC Dialogue is financed by the German Foreign Office with means of the German government originating from Germany's Energy and Climate Fund. First events will be held in Morocco and Tunisia in autumn.

DESERTEC Dialogue is one of several projects aiming to advance knowledge transfer and civil society exchange between Europe and North Africa.

"As an organisation once founded on the activities of people from the Mediterranean region and Europe, the DESERTEC Foundation stands in a good tradition of collaboration between Europe and North Africa", says Thiemo Gropp, Director of the DESERTEC Foundation.

Gropp knows only too well about the importance attributed to both, an affordable provision of energy from renewable resources and the prospective of newly created training opportunities and jobs in the region. "These are the urgent necessities we wish to address with our project". Πηγή: