March 20, 2009
Ideas are taking shape in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa
for a truly comprehensive, continent-wide energy landscape of the
future. And some of the strategies coming out of planning bodies
´over there´ deserve serious attention on the North American continent.
They also deserve a more liberal and disinterested response from
legislators and regulators at the local level than these officials
have historically been wont to give. And that makes us wonder whether
we can rise above the technical challenges involved, only to drown
in a sea of regulation and self—interest.
The Trans—Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC),
an initiative of The Club of Rome non-governmental global think tank,
has developed a concept known as DESERTEC, whose main elements include:
* Establishing large numbers of concentrating solar power
(CSP) arrays in desert areas of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA);
* Transmitting power from these and other renewable sources throughout
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) via super-efficient
high—voltage direct—current (HVDC) transmission lines.