Press Archives



MENA solar farms to power Europe underway – Ambitious Tunisian solar project may one day provide electricity to European home

The Tunisia based company TuNur launched a request to export 4.5 GW of solar energy to Europe. It firstly will link Tunisa and Malta by 2020 and further links to the middle of Italy and southern France are planned. It is a project both sides can profit from – Europe by getting clean energy and Tunisia by getting the economy, jobs and investments, stimulated. Finally there has come a chance to realise the project Desertec tried to launch a decade ago.

View article here (English)


Sonnenstrom aus der Wüste für ganz Europa – Marokko setzt die ersten Pfeiler

In Marokko wurde das modernste und größte Solarkraftwerk der Welt geschaffen und es soll noch weiter wachsen. Ziel ist zunächst die Deckung des eigenen Energiebedarfs im Land. Gleichzeitig besteht die Überlegung den überschüssigen Strom nach Europa zu exportieren.

DESERTEC: eine Vision, deren Zeit gekommen ist – Marokko dabei als Vorreiter.

Vollständiger Artikel hier (Deutsch)



Rolf Nonnemacher stärkt den DESERTEC-Aufsichtsrat

Der Ex-Chef der KPMG Deutschland verstärkt seit Anfang 2016 den Aufsichtsrat der gemeinnützigen DESERTEC Foundation und folgt auf den langjährig aktiven Dr. Gerhard Timm.

Vollständige Pressemitteilung hier (Deutsch)



Roland Berger takes the lead of the global DESERTEC Vision

In his function as new Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the DESERTEC Foundation, Roland Berger has concluded an intergenerational contract with young people from all over the world and has promised to promote the realisation of the DESERTEC Vision worldwide. Desert power is urgently needed locally for food production, drinking water and as the basis for prosperity suitable for grandchildren.

Pressrelease here (English version)

German version here



DESERTEC – jeder Akteur, der die Vision befördert, ist wichtig

Die Dii GmbH wandelt sich von einer von Shareholdern finanzierten Studiengesellschaft zur Dienstleistungsgesellschaft für ihre jetzigen drei Shareholder, darunter RWE aus Deutschland. Ihren ursprünglichen Gründungsauftrag hat die Dii erfüllt. Erste Projekte für erneuerbare Energien sind in der MENA Region angestoßen und wichtige Erkenntnisse zum Thema erneuerbare in den Wüstenregionen wurden gewonnen. Die DESERTEC Foundation begrüßt, dass es entgegen früherer Medienberichte nicht zur Abwicklung der Dii GmbH kommt.

Vollständige Pressemitteilung hier (Deutsch)


Gemasolar wins the DESERTEC Award 2014

DESERTEC awarded the Spanish power plant Gemasolar with the DESERTEC Award at this year’s Hannover Messe. The decisive criterion for granting the award was the technical innovation in the field of thermal heat storage for a reliable energy supply. When operating at maximum capacity, Gemasolar can produce electricity at night, as well as in cloudy weather conditions. It complements other alternative energy sources, such as wind and photovoltaic, because it can compensate fluctuations in their energy supply. Consequently, these variable sources can reach their fullest potential without the use of fossil fuels. The other nominees were Andasol, Puerto Errado 2 and SHAMS 1. All four nominees are models for present- and future power plants; and their success shows that solar-thermal technology is a feasible alternative to fossil fuels.

Press release here (English only)


Nominated for the DESERTEC Award 2014 are Andasol, Gemasolar, Puerto Errado2 und SHAMS1

DESERTEC already developed in 2012 its criteria for sustainable projects in arid regions. Based on these criteria, DESERTEC nominated four power plants that are not only future-orientated and cutting-edge, but can also be replicated in many other locations around the world. The winner will be awarded with the DESERTEC Award at the Hannover Messe on April 8th.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC strengthens its partner in Saudi-Arabia

Early January, Thiemo Gropp will step down as director of the DESERTEC Foundation and join the Executive Board of DESERTEC Power, the Saudi Arabian licensee of the DESERTEC Foundation. He will be succeeded by Andreas Huber, youngest member and managing director of the German Association of the Club of Rome. Also, Frithjof Finkbeiner, vice president of the German Association of the Club of Rome, will take up the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the DESERTEC Foundation.

Pressrelease here (English only)



German Foreign Office supports DESERTEC Foundation with Dialogue in Morocco and Tunisia

DESERTEC places issues like water scarcity and energy poverty in the centre of its vision. Since there is, however, a multitude of different actors involved in the realisation of the vision, all of them pursuing their own aims, the DESERTEC Foundation has resolved to develop criteria for large-scale power plant projects.

Pressrelease here (English only)


DESERTEC Foundation is leaving the industrial consortium DII

The DESERTEC Foundation announced the termination of its membership with DII GmbH. This action has been agreed upon by all members of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Directors at an extraordinary board meeting which took place on 27th June 2013.

Press Release here (English only)


SAP unterstützt DESERTEC bei IT-Strategie

Die SAP Deutschland AG & Co. KG hat in diesem Monat eine Kooperation mit der DESERTEC Foundation geschlossen und ist nun offizieller DESERTEC Partner. SAP wird die DESERTEC Foundation bei der weltweiten Beförderung und Verbreitung des DESERTEC-Konzeptes unterstützen. Im Rahmen des ersten gemeinsamen Projektes wird SAP die DESERTEC Foundation bei der Konzeption eines internationalen Stakeholder-Dialogs begleiten.

Pressemitteilung (Deutsch) hier


Bravo Marokko: DESERTEC wird endlich Realität!

In Ouarzazate / Marokko wurde kürzlich mit dem Bau eines des größten Solarkraftwerks Nordafrikas begonnen. Bereits im Jahre 2016 wird hier günstiger und emissionsfreier Strom für eine halbe Million Menschen produziert werden.

Der geistige Grundstein für ein solches Kraftwerk wurde schon 2008 gelegt, als die Gründer der DESERTEC Foundation gemeinsam mit dem Club of Rome die Idee der damaligen Marokkanischen Energieministerin Benkhadra sowie Vertretern der Weltbank vorstellen durften.


DESERTEC Foundation presents its criteria for the implementation of large solar projects

After several years of development, the DESERTEC Foundation today releases a set of criteria that ensure the social and environmental responsibility of large solar projects in desert regions. With this step, the foundation offers practical measures to achieve one of the cornerstones of the DESERTEC Concept: ensuring through that local people benefit from the development of concrete renewable energy projects…

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC Foundation endorses DESERTEC Power for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

DESERTEC Power was established to advance the energy supply in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This follows the direction of the Kingdom to significantly increase the sustainable power generation from renewable energy sources with viable, feasible, efficient, and sustainable solutions that address the current and forthcoming needs in the country. It is endorsed by the German DESERTEC Foundation and its anticipated merits are welcome by experts at Saudi Arabian KA-CARE…

Press release here (English only)



Climate Conference in Doha to lead us into a dangerous impasse

Coalition of the willing instead of waiting for consensus – climate bailout fund needs to be implemented quickly

Statement by Dr. Thiemo Gropp, Director of the DESERTEC Foundation, on the climate conference in Doha (Qatar)

For the 18th UN Climate Change Conference around 20,000 people from over 190 countries have boarded planes to stay in air-conditioned hotels and produce huge amounts of CO2 all in the name of climate protection. And what is the result of almost two decades of this annual meeting? The world emits more CO2 today than ever before…

Press release here (English only)


Comment from Dr. Thiemo Gropp, Director of the DESERTEC Foundation:

“US$12 billion in World Bank funds would be better invested in desert power than in fossil fuels”

Earlier this week, the World Bank published a report warning of the dramatic consequences of climate change and called on governments around the world to redirect the US$ 1 trillion (around €775 billion) spent overall every year on subsidies for fossil fuels to developing alternative energy sources. An excellent proposal and one the World Bank could translate into its own investment policy…

Press release here (English only)


ADEREE and DESERTEC work together for a green Morocco

The Moroccan Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE) and the DESERTEC Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding to consolidate the partnership between these two institutions. It focuses on the exchange of expertise and know-how in developing energy policy and regulation, and support for ADEREE’s communication and public relations strategy…

Press release here (English only)


First Step towards an Asian Super Grid

Wind Power from the Gobi Desert

Since last year’s nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan has established the legal frameworks for an accelerated domestic transition to renewables as an alternative to nuclear power. The DESERTEC Foundation and the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF) are working together towards an alternative that will bolster Japan’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable sources of clean power: a high-voltage direct-current super grid to supply the whole of Asia with renewable energy. Today, Japanese Softbank Corp., led by billionaire and JREF founder Masayoshi Son, takes the first step in the implementation of the so-called “Asian Super Grid”…

Press release here (English only)


A Greener Future Begins with Solutions not with Consensus

A Statement on Rio+20 from Dr. Thiemo Gropp, Director of the DESERTEC Foundation

Press release here (English only)


New Chilean Director to Strengthen Management Team of the DESERTEC Foundation

To complement the recent article in the “Welt am Sonntag” we also asked our new director from Chile, Dr. Ignacio Campino, some questions. The picture of Dr. Campino and the interview are freely available for use by journalists:


Asian Super Grid for Renewable Energies:

DESERTEC Foundation signs Memorandum of Understanding

A year after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the DESERTEC Foundation and the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF) will start to co-operate on promoting an Asian Super Grid necessary for the expansion of renewable energy in Asia. The aim is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy to provide secure and sustainable alternatives to fossil and nuclear energies. At the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo, the two non-profits announced that they will exchange knowledge and know-how, and coordinate their work together to develop suitable framework conditions for the deployment of renewables and to establish transnational cooperation in Greater East Asia…


Tunisian sun will light European homes by 2016

In the sands of North Africa, the DESERTEC Foundation’s vision for a future where the world’s deserts supply clean and sustainable energy to the whole of humankind is beginning to take shape. That future begins in the Saharan deserts of Tunisia with a project called “TuNur”…

Press release here (English only)




Jobs and prospects for young North Africans

Two new DESERTEC projects support regional development

The sun-rich North Africa is ideally suited for the generation of clean power from the desert, but often lacks the necessary expertise in the field of renewable energies to fully profit from this solar resource. North African experts from the Desertec Foundation are working together with partners from Germany and the Mediterranean region to address this skills gap through two new projects. In order to enable the people of North Africa to benefit from the construction of solar and wind power plants, these projects will initiate master degree programs, train technical personnel and help to create suitable conditions for the further development of renewables in the region. With more than 3 million Euros in funding, these projects are supported by the European Union, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Press release here (English only)


Can photovoltaic electricity exports solve the Greek debt crisis?

George Papaconstantinou, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Greece, is planning to turn German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s proposal for a multi-billion Euro solar project into reality. Should the “HELIOS” project drive European countries to expand the European power grid and to establish national feed-in tariffs for the import of clean energy, it would also benefit the realization of DESERTEC. However, we must sound a note of caution and stress that photovoltaic (PV) solar power from Greece cannot provide a viable alternative to clean power from deserts.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC Thesis Award: Apply now!

The industry initiative Dii, together with the DESERTEC Foundation and the DESERTEC University Network launch the DESERTEC Thesis Award this year. The winners will receive their award at Dii’s Annual Conference in November in Cairo. The aim of the award is to recognize outstanding research papers and to encourage more students to conduct research on the generation of renewable energy in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC Foundation appelliert an die Ethikkommission für eine sichere Energieversorgung

Die Bundesregierung ist aufgrund der verheerenden Ereignisse in Japan dabei, ihre Energiepolitik maßgeblich zu überdenken. Die DESERTEC Foundation begrüßt die Entscheidung der Bundeskanzlerin, eine Ethikkommission für eine sichere Energieversorgung einzusetzen. Zur Unterstützung der Entscheidungsfindung für einen vertretbaren ethisch-gesellschaftlichen Konsens und zur Beschleunigung der Energiewende, empfiehlt die DESERTEC Foundation, folgende Punkte zu berücksichtigen

Press release here (German only)


Plug into the power of China’s deserts

Jerry Li is chairman of Asia Energy Platform and a co-ordinator of DESERTEC Foundation in the Asian region. His statement was published in Chinese media.

Press release here (English only)


Statement on the emergency in Japan

Statement by Katrin-Susanne Richter, Director of the non-profit DESERTEC Foundation, in response to the nuclear emergency in Japan.

Press release here (English only)


Statement on the developments in MENA

A statement by Katrin-Susanne Richter, Director of the non-profit DESERTEC Foundation, on the DESERTEC Concept “Clean Power from Deserts” and the developments in North Africa and the Middle East.

Press release here (English only)



DESERTEC University Network founded

The DESERTEC Foundation, in cooperation with the Tunisian National Advisory Council for Scientific Research and Technology, has founded a platform for scientific cooperation for DESERTEC.

Press release here (English only)


Max Schön appointed to the Council for Sustainable Development

Hamburg – Yesterday, the Federal Government announced the new appointment of the Council for Sustainable Development. Among the new members of the council is Max Schön, the recently elected Chairman of the DESERTEC Foundation and President of the German chapter of the Club of Rome.

Press release here (English only)


Leadership Changes within the DESERTEC Foundation

Hamburg – The organisational consultant Katrin-Susanne Richter and the entrepreneur Dr. Thiemo Gropp have been appointed Directors of the DESERTEC Foundation. Max Schön, entrepreneur and President of the German Chapter of the Club of Rome, takes over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the non-profit Foundation.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC Foundation beim Wettbewerb „365 Orte im Land der Ideen“ ausgezeichnet

Die DESERTEC Foundation ist Preisträger des bundesweit ausgetragenen Innovationswettbewerbs „365 Orte im Land der Ideen“. Dr. Thomas Rüschen von der Deutschen Bank in Frankfurt zeichnete heute die gemeinnützige Stiftung, die sich für die Gewinnung von Solarstrom aus den Wüsten der Erde einsetzt, als „Ausgewählten Ort 2010“ aus.


Desertec Industrial Initiative appoints Prof. Klaus Töpfer as its strategic advisor

Prof. Klaus Töpfer will advise the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) on strategic issues. His activities will focus on political and social questions, with a view to realising the Desertec vision to the benefit of all participants in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Press release here (German only)


DESERTEC Foundation appreciates plans to establish Northern European energy grid

„Es ist das Richtige Signal zur richtigen Zeit. Um die Energiewende mit mehr sauberem, CO2-freiem Strom zeitnah zu schaffen, braucht Europa ein modernes, leistungsfähiges Stromnetz.“

Press release here (English only)



Joint venture DII established and ready to take up work

A unique industry initiative to develop a reliable, sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply from the deserts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is now taking shape

Press release here (English only)


12 companies plan establishment of a DESERTEC Industrial Initiative

12 companies today signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Munich to establish a DESERTEC Industrial Initiative (DII).


German Federal States support the DESERTEC Project

Environmental minister Christian von Boetticher and President of the German association of the Club of Rome Max Schön: “German Federal States support the DESERTEC Project.”

Press release here (English only)


Erneuerbare Energien gegeneinander auszuspielen schadet dem Klimaschutz

International vernetzte und dezentrale erneuerbare Energien dürfen nicht gegeneinander ausgespielt werden. Als Beitrag zu Klimaschutz und günstigen Strompreisen sollte man in jedem Fall beide Potenziale nutzen – und man wird es auch.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTEC Foundation establishes unique cooperation platform

DESERTEC concept taken up: industry engages in unique project for clean power from deserts.

Press release here (English only)


DESERTC Foundation will globale Energiewende – Konzept für die Mittelmeerregion vorgestellt

Press release here (English only)



Ökonomie Gegen Ökologie Auszuspielen Ist Sinnlos

German Association for The Club of Rome (Hanover, December 13th 2008)

“Ökonomie gegen Ökologie auszuspielen ist sinnlos” – Das DESERTEC-Konzept schafft Klimaschutz, günstigen Strom und Arbeitsplätze, verspricht der Club of Rome.

Press release here (German only)


Solar Plan (MSP) Becomes The Flagship Project Of The union For The Mediterranean

Open letter by Dr. Gerhard Knies (DESERTEC Project Director at The Club of Rome) (Hamburg, December 5th 2008)

English version here

German version here


Solar Plan (MSP) Becomes The Flagship Project Of The union For The Mediterranean

German Association for The Club of Rome (Hanover, April 24th 2008)

DESERTEC: 10,000 Solar GigaWatts – Clean Power from Deserts for the World

Press release here (English only)


German government advocates the import of solar electricity from deserts

English version here
German version here

Letter from German government (German) here

Inofficial English translation here


Solar mediterranean union –way to energy and climate security?

TREC (Hamburg, March 27th 2008)

Solar Mediterranean Union – Way to Energy and Climate Security?

Press release here (English only)