Desert so­lar project could power 5 mil­lion EU homes through in­ter­con­nec­tor with Malta

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

A third ca­ble that will link Tu­nisia with France and more tow­ers that would bring ca­pac­ity up to 4.5GW are also planned.

TuNur claimed in its re­quest to the en­ergy min­istry that the power gen­er­ated will be enough to power over 5 mil­lion homes or fuel over 7 mil­lion elec­tric ve­hi­cles. Eu­rope cur­rently has about 100GW of so­lar pho­to­voltaic power ca­pac­ity, the bloc’s sixth largest source af­ter nat­u­ral gas, wind, coal, large hy­dro and nu­clear.

If TuNur’s plan to add 4.5GW of re­new­able en­ergy to the mix comes to fruition, then Brus­sels’ re­new­able en­ergy tar­gets will be eas­ier to achieve, es­pe­cially if the ini­tial phase of 250MW comes on­line by 2020, when the EU’s 20% re­new­able en­ergy goal has its dead­line.

Al­though both DE­SERTEC and now TuNur have faced crit­i­cism and ac­cu­sa­tions of “coloni­sa­tion”, the project in­sists that its planned fa­cil­ity will help pre­vent de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion and min­imise wa­ter con­sump­tion. An im­pact study also pre­dicts that 2,000 di­rect jobs and 20,000 in­di­rect jobs could be cre­ated.

CSP tech­nol­ogy works by fo­cus­ing the sun’s rays onto a cen­tral tower us­ing a vast ar­ray mir­rors. Molten salt is then used to store the en­ergy.

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