The idea of tapping into the power of the sun over the Sahara desert and using it to provide Europe with energy is a brilliant one. Now 20 large German companies want to get together and turn it into reality with investments of several hundred billion euros.The aim of the project is to build solar power plants in the desert and then transport the electricity produced there over the Mediterranean,turning North Africa into an energy exporter. Many big German companies have agreed to participate,including the electricity giant EON,engineering firm Siemens,the reinsurer Munich Re,Deutsche Bank and solar power plant makers Solarmillenium. They want to meet on 13 July for an exploratory session. Germany is keen to cut emissions,so this desert electricity project fits well into the scheme of things. But it's a project with lots of unknowns. Made in Germany reporter Joachim Eggers asks Siemens,Solarmillenium and the founder of the Desertec project,physicist Gerhard Knies,if it is really technically possible to provide all of Europe's electricity needs with solar power from the Sahara. And who is really going to benefit?
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