Avoiding CO2 through desert power – From a think tank to an action tank

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates: On 11 November, the Desertec Industry Initiative Dii hold its 11th annual conference at The W Palm Hotel in Dubai.

About ten years ago, Desertec attracted the attention of the German public in particular. Initially, the initiative planned to produce electricity in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA), also for Europe. As a result of an extensive knowledge process, the actors later focused on the development of local Arab electricity markets (Desertec 2.0).

In the meantime, the production of “green electrons” (electricity) and “green molecules” (e.g. hydrogen from renewable desert electricity) are on an equal footing. The MENA region is to become the powerhouse of the post-fossil age, for the local economies as well as for the global markets. The entire technology spectrum is to be used in the energy transition, from renewable electricity to green hydrogen and methanol and ammonia as liquid energy sources (Desertec 3.0).

Drivers of the energy transition will gather in Dubai as part of the unique industry network. They will discuss practical aspects of the renewable energy market, green molecules, energy storage, energy transmission and flexible consumption in the MENA region. The conference brings together visionaries, industry representatives and policy makers. Options will be discussed based on numerous realised projects in the region for emission-free energy supply.

An exciting future market is currently emerging and the Dii consortium is supported by more than 57 shareholders as well as associated partners from 24 countries. Dii CEO Cornelius Matthes says: “In 2012, the maximum was 37 associated partners and 21 shareholders, so 58! From there, you can say that we are now back to the level of 2012, but much more international (only 17 countries back then) and many more partners in the MENA countries.”

In an era that is forcing the rapid avoidance of carbon emissions, energy from the desert is a vision that interests policymakers, civil society and industrial society alike. Among the important players is the Saudi / Chinese project developer ACWA Power. The company is the market leader in the construction of large solar and wind energy projects under desert skies. Another shareholder is the Chinese company State Grid. Since 2017, thyssenkrupp has been involved with Dii. The German Dax group works with Dii in the field of green hydrogen as a profound representative of German industry and became a shareholder this year.

By: Dr. Thomas Isenburg contact: presse@thomas-isenburg.de

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