Munich Re takes positive stock of Dii power-from-the-desert initiative

2010/10/26

One year after the foundation of Dii GmbH – the planning entity for the initiative to generate power from the desert – Munich Re’s assessment is positive: “We are satisfied with how Dii is progressing. It was and is a ground-breaking initiative that we launched with partners a year ago. Its aim is nothing less than the implementation of a vision to generate electricity from the desert. Realisation of this vision will benefit us all – North Africa and the Middle East through their own stable energy supply as a basis for sustainable economic growth in the region, the global climate through the expansion of renewable energies, and lastly the companies that pioneer such projects”, said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re’s Reinsurance CEO.

Dii GmbH was founded on 30 October 2009 with its head office in Munich, following the signing – three months before at the initiative of Munich Re and the Desertec Foundation – of a memorandum of understanding with eleven other companies to develop a commercial industry initiative. The company’s objective is to come up with investment plans by the end of 2012 for the private sector to produce power from renewable sources like sun and wind in the MENA region (Middle East, North Africa). In the meantime, the consortium has 18 (soon 19) shareholders, while the initiative is currently supported by over 30 associated partners. At an international conference in Barcelona, also attended by EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Dii has now presented an interim report on its activities and its further plans.

Jeworrek emphasised the importance of the initiative in the light of climate change and the move towards renewable energies that will be required in the medium term. “Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge faced by humanity. Weather-related natural catastrophes are showing a rising trend both in number and in intensity, and we believe that climate change is a contributory factor. We cannot wait until there is 100% certainty, but consider it is important and wise to act now. That is one of the reasons why we backed the vision of power from the desert in 2009 – because visions can change the world. And if they do, the pioneers benefit,” he said.

“What we can contribute is our risk know-how. With appropriate risk-transfer solutions, we will support technology firms in the commercial use of new products in the renewable-energy field and facilitate the financing of such projects for investors. And we are prepared to make investments of our own in such plants”, stressed Jeworrek. Munich Re has set itself the goal of expanding its own investments in renewable energy to up to €2.5bn in the coming years.

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