12 companies plan establishment of a "Desertec Industrial Initiative"

2009/07/06

Group

Munich – 12 companies today signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Munich to establish a "Desertec Industrial Initiative" (Dii). The objective of this initiative is to analyse and develop the technical, economic, political, social and ecological framework for carbon-free power generation in the deserts of North Africa. The Desertec concept, developed by the TREC Initiative of the Club of Rome, describes the perspectives of a sustainable power supply for all regions of the world with access to the energy potential of deserts. The founder companies of the Dii, whose regional focus is on Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), will be:

  • ABB
  • ABENGOA Solar
  • Cevital
  • Deutsche Bank
  • E.ON
  • HSH Nordbank
  • MAN Solar Millennium
  • Münchener Rück
  • M+W Zander
  • RWE
  • SCHOTT Solar
  • SIEMENS

The companies intend to establish a planning entity whose shareholders will include the Desertec Foundation. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of high-ranking representatives from German and international politics.

Among the Dii’s main goals are the drafting of concrete business plans and associated financing concepts, and the initiating of industrial preparations for building a large number of networked solar thermal power plants distributed throughout the MENA region. The aim is to produce sufficient power to meet around 15% of Europe’s electricity requirements and a substantial portion of the power needs of the producer countries. All of the Dii's activities will be aimed at developing viable investment plans within three years of its establishment. The initiative’s clear focus on implementation is set out in the Dii Principles for all future Dii shareholders.

Besides the business opportunities for the companies, there are other economic, ecological and social potentials:

  • Greater energy security in the EU/MENA countries
  • Growth and development opportunities for the MENA region as a result of substantial private investment
  • Safeguarding the future water supply in the MENA countries by utilising excess energy in seawater desalination plants
  • Reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and thus making a significant contribution to achieving the climate change targets of the European Union and the German Federal Government

The Dii planning entity is to be established as a GmbH (limited liability company) under German law by 31 October 2009. It is envisaged that other companies will join the Dii once the company has been established. The aim is for the Dii to include shareholders from a variety of different countries.

Representatives of the parties involved had the following to say about the joint initiative:

The partnerships that will be formed across the regions as a result of the Desertec project will open a new chapter in relations between the people of the European Union, West Asia and North Africa.
His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
The founding of the Dii is a milestone in the Desertec Foundation's concept for global energy, water and climate security!
Dr. Gerhard Knies
Desertec Foundation
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
The establishment of the Dii is a giant leap by industry for the lasting protection of human life.
Max Schön
German Association of the Club of Rome
President
ABB has developed High Voltage Direct Current transmission technology to connect power grids and utilise renewable energies. Climate protection needs innovative technologies.
Dr. Joachim Schneider
ABB AG
Member of the Board of Management
Today we are building North Africa's first private integrated solar combined cycle plant in Algeria and the region’s largest utility-owned integrated solar combined cycle plant in Morocco. Tomorrow Abengoa’s experience in transmission, desalination and solar projects in North Africa will make a significant contribution to the success of the Desertec objectives.
Santiago Seage
ABENGOA Solar
Chairman and CEO
It is time that everyone gets involved to preserve our planet and leave a better world for future generations. This is why Cevital considers this initiative as a new opportunity for the EUMENA region.
Malik Rebrab
Cevital
Chief Executive Officer
We are pleased to participate in the 'Desertec Industrial Initiative' and explore with our partners the feasibility of this trailblazing project. The Initiative shows in what dimensions and on what scale we must think if we are to master the challenges from climate change both in ecological and economic terms.
Caio Koch-Weser
Deutsche Bank
Vice Chairman
E.ON is convinced that the future belongs to solar technology in the long term. We share the Desertec vision of exploiting the sun’s energy on a grand scale to supply power to Europe and the African countries. We are supporting the initiative with a view to making this great idea possible. Apart from this, E.ON is constantly expanding its involvement in solar power, especially in the field of solar thermal power plants – as envisaged for supplying power in the Desertec Initiative.
Dr. Hervé Touati
E.ON Climate & Renewables
Managing Director
HSH Nordbank has a leading position in project financing for renewable energy, which is also very important for our home region. We are happy to contribute our financing know-how to the Dii.
Peter Rieck
HSH Nordbank
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management
Desertec is a fascinating initiative and at the same time a major challenge worth working for. Our highly qualified engineers and managers are already facing such challenges and realising large solar thermal power projects in the Mediterranean region.
Dr. Wolfgang Knothe
CEO MAN Solar Millennium GmbH and member of the Board of Management of Solar Millennium AG
We are pursuing a visionary plan. If it is successful, we will make a major contribution to combating climate change. The ecological and economic potential is huge. We will do our utmost to make this vision reality. Many thanks to all who are already giving us such strong support.
Dr. Torsten Jeworrek
Munich Re
Member of the Board of Management
As a leading international engineering firm in the field of photovoltaics and solar technology, we strongly support this strategic initiative of trade and industry. As we see it, the Dii can be a great success.
Jürgen Wild
M+W Zander Group
Chairman and CEO
The Desertec concept is a fascinating vision. We will contribute RWE’s energy expertise and, together with our partners, establish how and when the concept can be realised.
Dr. Frank-Detlef Drake
RWE AG
Vice President Corporate Research and Development
The SCHOTT receiver is at the very heart of parabolic trough technology. Our products have been in use in these power plants for decades.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer
SCHOTT AG
CEO and Chairman
Desertec can make a significant contribution to sustainable energy supplies. With its broad environmental portfolio, Siemens is the right technology partner for this visionary project.
Dr. Rene Umlauft
SIEMENS
CEO Renewable Energy
Service:
You can also find this press release on Munich Re’s website (www.munichre.com) in Arabic, French and German. Other more specific information can be found on the websites of the participating companies and institutions.

Media contacts of the companies involved in alphabetical order:

ABB Deutschland
Klaus Treichel
Tel. 00 49 621 438 12 30
Klaus.treichel@de.abb.com

Abengoa Solar
Patricia Malo de Molina Meléndez
Tel. 00 34 954 93 71 11
Patricia.malodemolina@abengoa.com

Desertec Foundation
Michael Straub
Tel. 00 49 40 32 507 795
Michael.straub@desertec.org

Deutsche Bank Group
Dr. Klaus Winker
Tel. 00 49 69 910 322 49
klaus.winker@db.com

E.ON AG
Dr. Christian Drepper
Tel. 00 49 211 4579 889
Christian.drepper@eon.com

HSH Nordbank
Ulrike Abratis
Tel. 00 49 40 33 33 11463
Ulrike.abratis@hsh-nordbank.com

MAN Solar Millennium
Sven Moormann
Tel. 00 49 9131 94 09 0
presse@SolarMillennium.de

Münchener Rück
Alexander Mohanty
Tel. 00 49 89 3891 98 96
amohanty@munichre.com

M+W Zander
Michael Gemeinhardt
Tel. 00 49 711 8804 1420
michael.gemeinhardt@mw-zander.com

RWE AG
Jan-Peter Schwartz
Tel. 00 49 201 12 150 23
Jan-peter.schwartz@rwe.com

Schott Solar AG
Klaus-Bernhard Hofmann
Tel. 00 49 6131 66 36 62
Klaus-bernhard.hofmann@schott.com

Siemens AG
Alfons Benzinger
Tel. 00 49 9131 18 70 34
Alfons.benzinger@siemens.com

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Further Information

In case of enquiries, please contact:
Alexander Mohanty
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Nikola Kemper
Nikola Kemper
Media Relations Asia Pacific
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Terese Rosenthal
Terese Rosenthal
Media Relations
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