Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) – a trailblazer for a sustainable supply of energy through desert power

Renewable desert power can play a key role in tomorrow’s energy mix – and Desertec’s objective is to generate a sustainable supply of electricity for all regions of the world from the energy potential of deserts so that resources are used effectively and the philosophy of green growth is supported.


Desertec: solar and wind for clean energy

Desertec stands for the general vision - open to all types of technology - of achieving a sustainable power supply for all regions of the world with access to energy potential from deserts.

Utilisation of renewable energies to fill the energy requirements of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East can make it possible to exploit resources effectively and support the philosophy of green growth at the same time. Furthermore, Desertec can make an outstanding contribution towards giving people in North Africa access to electricity.

Dii was founded in Munich in October 2009 by Deutsche Bank and eleven other companies with the aim of positioning it as a trailblazer for that innovative idea.

The project has generated valuable impetus for further development of renewable energies, particularly in the case of solar and wind energy. The Dii initiative has demonstrated how especially innovative ideas and projects can initiate and speed up changes.

Now that phase has been concluded and Dii is preparing itself for the changes in framework conditions. In future, the industry initiative - conceived for a limited time from the outset - will be continue to operate as a commercial company managed by three partners: essentially, its intention is to provide accompanying support for concrete energy projects as a service provider.

Expansion of cross-country infrastructure

Deserts in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region will play a key role as locations for generating affordable and sustainable solar and wind power; similarly, the excellent offshore wind sites in Northern Europe will also make a central contribution. The backbone of such a power system is the extension of a high-voltage transmission grid that will cross international borders and ensure that electricity can be transported from the point of generation to the consumer.

The massive expansion of renewable energy and the relevant transmission grid structure will provide sustainable and secure power to the MENA region, which is facing significant growth in population size and power demand. Europe will benefit from cheaper, cleaner electricity that will facilitate the transition to a renewables-based power system. Besides promoting economic growth and leading to new areas for cooperation between Europe and MENA, power from the desert also offers solutions to the most pressing issues of our time: fossil fuel dependency and climate change.


Creating a framework for desert power

Dii is the trailblazer, catalyst and coordinator of the project. Its objective is to create the framework conditions needed for development of a stable market for renewable energies derived from solar and wind power in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, its aims are as follows:

Generation of a positive investment climate: Development of a technical, economic, political and regulatory framework that will make investments in renewable energy and interconnected power grids possible in North Africa and the Middle East.

Initiation of several selected reference projects to prove feasibility and reduce costs.

Development of a long-term roll-out plan for the period up to 2050 including investment and financing guidance. The intention is to integrate renewable energies into the market as quickly as possible and make them independent of subsidies. The first part of the strategy was published in June 2012.

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have recognized the huge economic potential of renewable energy development and are taking action in this field. Most governments in the region have agreed on solid expansion targets, which amount to a total of 50 GW by 2020. Investments in renewable energy projects have multiplied in recent years. Dii as a driving force has successfully given guidance and promoted renewable energy in the MENA countries since 2009.

Objective 2050:

50% carbon reduction

within the MENA region

“Five years ago, renewable energies hardly played any role at all in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Today the situation is completely different. In the meantime, roughly 70 projects have been or are being realised. During that time, Dii actively provided assistance with advocacy work, fundamental studies and concrete strategies for specific countries. Now that phase has been concluded and Dii is preparing itself for changed requirements.”

Paul van Son Outgoing Managing Director Dii GmbH

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