Image credit: Tom Raftery, used under Creative Commons license.
We've already seen evidence that a relatively small amount of land in North Africa and a few other choice locations could power the entire world with solar, which is why Matthew asked previously about what was preventing us from tapping into solar in North Africa. Now the Tunisian government has made a major commitment to solar power that could unlock the potential for large-scale renewable energy in North Africa. Bloomberg reports that Tunisia plans to invest $2bn in solar power projects which it would use to sell power to Europe. (Jeremy has reported before on plans for Europe and Africa to collaborate on solar power, and Matthew also posted on growing support for plans to sell electricity from African sola to Europe.) While the new announcement does not yet say how much electricity will be produced under the plan, there was a commitment to 40 projects, and a start date of 2016 for the sale of electricity to European countries:
Tunisia is building 40 solar projects with foreign partners from Germany and other countries, and they will start providing electricity to Europe by 2016, Tunisia's Abdelhamid Triki said in an interview in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The power will be transferred by a submarine cable to Europe through Italy, he said. Triki didn't say how much electricity will be generated in the project.
With Thailand's aggressive push for solar underway, India's rapidly developing solar market, and South Africa also working hard for more renewable energy, the development of both large-scale and distributed solar power is now happening on a Global level. Which just begs the question, which country will step up next?
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