Through a joint venture initiative between twelve companies and the Desertec Foundation, solar photovoltaics and sustainability will be promoted in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The joint venture group signed the articles of association for the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) on October 30 in Munich.
The work of the DII will involve a thorough analysis and the establishment of a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced using solar and also wind energy sources. The long-term goal is to satisfy a substantial part of the energy needs of the MENA countries meeting a potential 15% of Europe’s electricity demand by 2050.
In related news, the DII shareholder meeting held at the same time as the signing, appointed Paul van Son as CEO of the DII. van Son has held various management posts in the European energy industry, including managing director of Deutsche Essent and Econcern. van Son is also chairman of the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) and chairman of the Energy4All Foundation in Africa.
“The DII will primarily focus on the economic, technical and regulatory conditions that must be fulfilled for successful project implementation. Early reference projects will allow us to learn for further rollout plans by the DII and other parties,” said van Son.
All DII signatories have agreed on the need for efficient climate protection measures, in support of this, Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of Munich Re on behalf of the DII founding members said, “The question is not whether we should do something, but how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and how this goal can be achieved in an intelligent manner, which results in a win-win situation for both the environment and the economy. With regard to the important UN climate summit in Copenhagen, this private sector initiative demonstrates how business potentials can be aligned with sustainability goals.”
Shareholders of the DII include 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. DII headquarters will be located in Munich.