Transgreen, what's in a name ?
Whereas Germany is strongly pushing for and investing in DESERTEC, the other European strong holder, France, is preparing to launch Transgreen. This project aims at building an underwater electricity network connecting both sides of the Mediterranean, as a part of the Mediterranean Solar Plan (launched by Sarkozy’s ‘Union for the Mediterranean’). It would link Italy with Tunisia, between Italy and Libya, between Spain and Algeria or between Greece and Egypt.
End of May, the Transgreen consortium plans to launch the first phase, a € 5 million study phase before the building of the actual lines. Although often depicted as a minor event, involvement by the corporate world would almost ‘guarantee’ contracts for the realization phase estimated to oscillate around € I billion each. Consequently, many companies have already agreed to contribute to this first step. In addition to this financial advantage, the Transgreen project offers obviously a nice reference for similar future projects in China and India, which has undoubtedly been at least as convincing for Siemens, ABB, Alstom/Areva, Nexans, Prysmian, Cap Gemini or Atos Origin.
All together, no matter if German will be stronger than the French (or the other way around), DESERTEC and Transgreen offer both promising prospects for European energy in general, and for companies involved in specific.
TRANSGREEN : a planned network of power lines under the Mediterranean
This project aims to deliver, to Europe, solar energy which should be produced in the Sahara the next few decades. Scientists are already working on Transgreen, which has been discussed in May at a meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean.
It is a huge project, which has been discussed at the meeting of energy ministers from the 43 countries joining the Union for the Mediterranean. That meeting held May 25 in Cairo and participants have discussed the formation of a consortium, the role of which will be to install in the Mediterranean, electrical lines connecting Europa to North of Africa. The project in question was called Transgreen, there would be associated electricity suppliers and handlers (including EDF and RTE) and manufacturers of high voltage equipment. Currently, only a dual AC line with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts across the Mediterranean, under the Strait of Gibraltar.
Consultant to the UMP, Patrick Le Berrigaud commented: "Scientists are working on this project, but we're still in its infancy s (that project), especially since the Mediterranean is a fragile ecosystem, it will take all environmental precautions necessary to get as many cables under water.
Several projects are already in the pipeline for undersea cables between Algeria and Spain, Algeria and Sardinia and between Tunisia and Sicily.
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