• Electrifying bid

    Electrifying bid

    Solar power from the Sahara could soon be powering around 2 million homes in Europe, according to a report by the Guardian. The Tunisian government has received a proposal for a massive 4.5 GW solar park that will ‘sprawl over an area three times the size of Manhattan’. The desert solar project will export electricity to Europe.

    The megaproject by TuNur – a joint venture between UK-based solar developer Nur Energie and a group of Maltese and Tunisian investors in the oil and gas sector – will comprise parabolic mirrors that reflect sunlight onto several towers (some reaching 200m in height). The towers will heat molten salts that in turn boil water, creating steam to power the turbines.

    The EUR5 billion plant will export electricity to Malta, Italy and France via submarine cables – which is why the EU is considering awarding priority status to an underwater cable linking Tunisia and Italy. Construction is set to begin in 2019.

    19 September 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images