In 2009 DESERTEC was founded by major european industrial companies like E.On, RWE, Siemens, and Deutsche Bank. They planed to invest 400 billion Euros in the next ten years to build solar power plants in the Sahara desert.
Fast forwarding three years: In the meantime Siemens and Deutschen Bank bailed out and the rest remains awfully silent. A quote from businessgreen:
It is fair to say though that while solar in the desert regions is progressing, none of it quite fits with the grand plans once imagined. The development is scrappy, and unpredictable. The truth is that the great dream of well-organised and co-ordinated desert solar power plants may well be on life support.
I have to admit that I was blown away when in 2009 I first saw the picture on the left with the red squares. Such a small area of the desert could provide all of us with energy! It seemed so simple to go 100% for renewable energy.
But recent developments have shown that mega plants in the middle of nowhere are not the solution. We need to generate the energy local where it is needed. Even transport of energy is very costly and lossy. Distributed energy generation is the superior concept.