Africa's new energy resource?

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

With Western (and now Eastern) corporations clambering to raid Africa for its oil resources, the hopes for the continent releasing itself from neo-colonial ambitions is still a faint hope. But a more ecologically, and potentially less exploitative alternative may now be a possibility.

From the Guardian:

Europe is considering plans to spend more than £5bn on a string of
giant solar power stations along the Mediterranean desert shores of
northern Africa and the Middle East.

More
than a hundred of the generators, each fitted with thousands of huge
mirrors, would generate electricity to be transmitted by undersea cable
to Europe and then distributed across the continent to European Union
member nations, including Britain.

Billions of watts of power
could be generated this way, enough to provide Europe with a sixth of
its electricity needs and to allow it to make significant cuts in its
carbon emissions. At the same time, the stations would be used as
desalination plants to provide desert countries with desperately needed
supplies of fresh water.

Last week Prince Hassan bin Talal of
Jordan presented details of the scheme - named Desertec - to the
European Parliament. 'Countries with deserts, countries with high
energy dem
and, and countries with technology competence must
co-operate,' he told MEPs.

The project has been developed by the
Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation and is supported by
engineers and politicians in Europe as well as Morocco, Algeria, Libya,
Jordan and other nations in the Middle East and Africa.

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