Europe Eyes Giant Desert Solar Power Plant

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". . .it would be the largest green-energy project on the planet."

As the world's reserves of hydrocarbon fuels dwindle, a German-led consortium is pushing ahead with a revolutionary plan to build a giant thermal solar power plant in the North African desert that would provide up to 15% of Europe's electricity needs.

The ambitious project, known as Desertec, is expected to cost $555.3 billion. It would generate inexhaustible and affordable quantities of energy across the Mediterranean—and even on a global scale, if necessary. If Desertec ever gets off the ground it would be the largest green-energy project on the planet.

The plan, which has been kicking around for years, got a big boost on June 17 when a group of 20 companies, including Siemens, Deutsche Bank, European energy giant E.On and insurance major Munich Re, announced they will launch the initiative at a meeting on July 13 and consolidate the consortium.

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