News | July 17, 2009

ABB Participates In Desertec Industrial Initiative

Zurich, Switzerland - The idea of generating clean electricity in the world’s deserts is making progress: European companies, including ABB, met in Munich recently to sign a memorandum of understanding on the Desertec industrial initiative.

"ABB has been a collaborator on the Desertec project for many years,” said Peter Smits, regional manager of ABB in central Europe. “We believe our technologies and expertise will contribute to the continued success of this prioneering proejct."

By 2050, solar power from the northern Sahara could meet about 15 percent of European electricity needs and a significant proportion of local electricity demand in the countries of North Africa. The aim of the newly founded initiative is to analyze the technical, economic, political, social and environmental framework for the project.

Viable investment plans will be developed over the next three years and there are considerable business opportunities. ABB can make a significant contribution, particularly in terms of the technical expertise required to incorporate renewable power into the grid and transmit power efficiently over long distances.

"The technologies for a project like Desertec are tried and tested. HVDC (high-voltage direct current) – a key technology for the long-distance transmission of electricity - was invented by ABB 50 years ago and has been evolving ever since. It is used to connect grids, incorporate renewable energy and increase energy efficiency. So ABB makes not only Desertec, but also climate change, possible. " said Smits. "Desertec is a visionary project that brings the prospect of carbon-neutral power supplies in Europe a step closer, but it will probably still take some time before the first desert electricity starts to flow into Europe. In the meantime, today's energy needs must be met by a broad mix of generation, including, for example, coal-fired plants."

Alongside ABB, other members of the initiative include, for example, the German insurer Munich Re, the energy groups E.ON and RWE, Deutsche Bank, Schott Solar, and Siemens. Foreign companies such as Abengoa Solar from Spain and the Cevital industrial group from Algeria will also participate in the initiative.

More information about ABB and DESERTEC can be found via the link below:

SOURCE: ABB Measurement & Analytics