solar4africa, your internet portal on solar energy in Africa
menu powered by Milonic
click for more information - thank you for visiting our sponsors
log in
You are here: Comments and remarks to Wim Jonker Klunne


news @ solar4africa

Algeria aims to tap vast sunbelt to export solar energy to Europe

It's a vision that has long enticed energy planners: solar panels stretching out over vast swaths of the Sahara desert, soaking up sun to generate clean, green power.
Now Algeria, aware that its oil and gas riches will one day run dry, is gearing up to tap its sunshine on an industrial scale for itself and even Europe.

Work on its first plant began late last month at Hassi R'mel, 420 kilometers (260 miles) south of Algiers, the capital. The plant will be a hybrid, using both sun and natural gas to generate 150 megawatts. Of that, 25 megawatts will come from giant parabolic mirrors stretching over 180,000 square meters (nearly 2 million square feet) — roughly 45 football fields.

Experts say it's the first project of its kind to combine gas and steam turbines with solar thermal input in a hybrid plant.

The plant should be ready in 2010, and the longer-term goal is to export 6,000 megawatts of solar-generated power to Europe by 2020, about a tenth of current electricity consumption in Germany.

"Our potential in thermal solar power is four times the world's energy consumption so you can have all the ambitions you want with that," said Tewfik Hasni, managing director of New Energy Algeria, or NEAL, a company created by the Algerian government in 2002 to develop renewable energy.

The project is still at an early stage and faces daunting financial and technological obstacles. Solar power's supporters say it will take 10 years for it to become economically competitive, and while undersea cables to Sicily and Spain are planned for construction in 2010-2012, it isn't known who will finance them.


Additional information: Clcik here for full story.
News date: 09/08/2007

To the news index

Comments and remarks to Wim Jonker Klunne

sponsored links


More information on renewables in Africa: wind4africa - biomass4africa - hydro4africa