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Desertec: Enel Green Power, NAREVA Holding, Red Eléctrica de España and Saint-Gobain Solar become part of joint venture Dii

Desertec: Enel Green Power, NAREVA Holding, Red Eléctrica de España and Saint-Gobain Solar become part of joint venture Dii

Munich – Four companies have today joined the Desertec joint venture Dii. The new shareholders are Enel Green Power (Italy), NAREVA Holding (Morocco), Red Eléctrica de España (Spain) and Saint-Gobain Solar (France).

The Dii was founded in 2009 as the “Desertec Industrial Initiative” and aims to create the framework for generating sustainable and climate-friendly power in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa and prepare the integration with the European energy market.

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Paul van Son, CEO of the Dii: “By particularly inviting further companies from Europe and North Africa, we carry out an important step to make our industry initiative truly international. Furthermore, we are in close talks with a company from Tunisia. All our shareholders are convinced that pursuing this visionary plan for a new renewable energy era based on partnership between countries and companies from different cultures is an effort worth making.”

Francesco Starace, President of Enel Green Power: “We are pleased to join Desertec today, an important initiative for the development of a mix of technologies for the generation of electricity from renewable resources in the Middle East and North Africa. We will strongly support the initiative alongside our partners, contributing our expertise our geothermal know how, our wind capabilities as well as our commitment to both photovoltaic and solar thermal generation with Archimedes, the first system in the world to fully integrate a gas combined-cycle plant with a liquid-salt solar thermal plant for electricity generation”. Enel Green Power is the Enel Group Company fully dedicated to the development and operation of plants generating energy from renewable sources at international level, with presence in Europe and the Americas. With 17.2 billion kWh of renewable energy generated in 2008, Enel Green Power is the sector leader in Europe and the leading Italian player with an internationally integrated business in the renewable industry. The company has an installed capacity of around 4,700 MW and over 500 plants operating worldwide, with a generation mix that includes wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass energy sources.

Ahmed Nakkouch, Chairman and CEO of NAREVA Holding: “Desertec is an ambitious project that would lead to interesting opportunities for Morocco and the region. As one of the Moroccan players in renewable energy, NAREVA Holding shares the Desertec vision and participates to this project which is in line with the ambitious Moroccan program to develop the wind and solar sector, especially the 2000 MW solar project scheduled for 2020.”

Luis Atienza, Chairman of Red Eléctrica de España: “The Desertec Industrial Initiative’s proposal to meet a large percentage of Europe’s energy requirements with renewable energy sources located in North Africa can help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. But this proposal can only be realised if power supply grids with high capacities are used and the countries bordering on the Mediterranean are involved. Via its branch Red Eléctrica Internacional (REI), Red Eléctrica will contribute to the development and operation of such power supply systems and also act as a link between north and south. Red Eléctrica has extensive experience in integrating renewable energy into the power grid: after all, in Spain more than 18 GW is already generated from wind energy and 3.5 GW from solar energy – an achievement made possible by Red Eléctrica’s involvement in recent years. Red Eléctrica is convinced that the Desertec initiative will help promote the development of all the Mediterranean countries and increase prosperity in north and south.”

Fabrice Didier, Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Solar: “In cost terms, solar thermal energy is one of the most promising sources of electricity for decades to come. To make this competitive, cooperation between companies is essential. The Desertec project helps set the framework for such cooperation. In addition to playing an active role in the photovoltaic sector, Saint-Gobain Solar develops and offers various key components designed for solar thermal plants, notably mirrors, receivers and heat storage units. We are delighted to join this initiative and contribute to establishing a sound industrial base for solar energy.”

The Dii was founded to pave the way for the establishment of a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced from solar and wind energy sources. The long-term goal is to satisfy a substantial part of the energy needs of the MENA countries and meet as much as 15% of Europe’s electricity demand by 2050. The Dii now consists of 17 shareholders. The founding members of Dii GmbH were ABB, Abengoa Solar, Cevital, the DESERTEC Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, M+W Group, RWE, SCHOTT Solar and Siemens. Earlier this month the industry initiative gained the support of Prof. Klaus Töpfer, the former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Mr. Töpfer will advise the Dii on strategic issues.

Paul van Son: “The UN climate summit in Copenhagen has failed. But it is obvious that a big development towards a sustainable energy supply has started. Therefore we will work closely with complementary initiatives like the Mediterranean Solar Plan of the European Union or the newly launched ‘Friends of the Supergrid’ initiative for a HVDC North Sea grid. We all have a common objective: Developing the markets for large-scale sustainable energy production, transmission and an efficient energy use.”

Press contact Dii GmbH:
Mr. Alexander Mohanty
Phone: +49 89 340 7705 20
E-Mail: mohanty(at)dii-eumena.com

Press contact M+W Group:
Mr. Michael Gemeinhardt
Phone: +79 711 8804-1420
E-Mail: michael.gemeinhardt(at)mwgroup.net

Press contact Enel:
Mrs. Cecilia Ferranti
Phone: +39 06 83058315
E-Mail: cecilia.ferranti(at)enel.com

Press contact NAREVA Holding:
Mrs. Faiza Kadiri
Phone: +212 5 29 00 46 36
E-Mail: f.kadiri(at)nareva-ona.com

Press contact Red Eléctrica:
Mrs. Nuria Santos de la Calle
Phone: +34 91 4533219
E-Mail: nsantos(at)ree.es

Press contact Saint-Gobain:
Mrs. Sandrine Douilhet
Phone: +33 1 47 62 41 41
E-mail: sandrine.douilhet(at)saint-gobain.com