On 13 July 2009 Minister of State for Europe Günter Gloser will attend the launch of the Desertec consortium at the Münchener Rück headquarters in Munich.
Desertec's aim is to construct solar thermal electric power plants in the Middle East and North Africa. Politically speaking, the initiative is part of the Solar Plan, a beacon project proposed by Germany for the Union for the Mediterranean.
Minister of State Gloser, who has been actively following developments in the Union for the Mediterranean and its predecessors since the mid-nineties, issued today (10 July) the following statement on the Desertec launch:
"Importing electricity from North Africa will mean greater regional diversification of our energy supplies. In the light of the current debate on the safety of Germany's nuclear power stations as well as the decision taken at the recent G8 summit to cut CO2 emissions still further, renewable energies are going to become increasingly important in future. Both Europe and the countries of the southern Mediterranean stand to gain from this project. Exporting solar power will raise additional revenue for these countries and also help meet their own electricity needs."
The Union for the Mediterranean was founded exactly one year ago on 13 July 2008 in Paris. Building on the Barcelona Process established in 1995, it is a cornerstone – together with the European Neighbourhood Policy – of the EU's relations with the countries of the Mediterranean.