The DII aims at accelerated implementation of the DESERTEC concept, as proposed by the DESERTEC Foundation. The work of the DII will entail a thorough analysis and the establishment of a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with renewable energy produced using solar and wind power. 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 using renewable energy from the deserts.
The DII shareholder meeting appointed Paul van Son as CEO of the DII. Van Son has held various management posts in the European energy industry, including Managing Director of Deutsche Essent (Germany) and Econcern (Netherlands).Van Son is also Chairman of the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) and Chairman of the Energy4All Foundation which is active in Africa.
Van Son says: “We recognise and strongly support the DESERTEC vision as a pivotal part of the transition to a sustainable energy supply in the MENA countries and Europe. Now the time has come to turn this vision into reality. That implies intensive cooperation with many parties and cultures to create a sound basis for feasible investments into renewable energy technologies and interconnected grids. The DII will primarily focus on the economic, technical and regulatory conditions that must be fulfilled for successful project implementation. Early reference projects will allow us to learn for further rollout plans by the DII and other parties.”
Since the announcement in July, the DII has gained support from a wide variety of political and governmental institutions in the MENA region and Europe. Amongst others, the DII intends to collaborate closely with the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP), an initiative launched in 2008 by the French presidency of the Council of the European Union within the framework of the ‘Union for the Mediterranean’.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan aims at the creation of a new balanced north-south relationship based on the promotion of sustainable and renewable energy projects. Both initiatives - the MSP as a political initiative and the DII as a private industry initiative – share similar goals and can therefore mutually support each other.
Shareholders of the DII are ABB, ABENGOA Solar, Cevital, DESERTEC Foundation, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, M+W Zander, RWE, SCHOTT Solar and Siemens.
DII headquarters will be located in Munich, and welcomes further members and partners.