Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Produced by: The German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
Content: In this comprehensive study the DLR has analyzed the future power requirements and the renewable energy potential of over 30 European countries. One area of focus is the possibility of importing solar electricity from sunny countries in North Africa and the Middle East (the MENA region) to less sunny regions such as Germany, for example. The DLR is of the opinion that Europe will be able to obtain 80% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050, reducing its carbon dioxide emissions caused by electricity generation by 70%. Where relevant, the DLR advocates solar power imports from solar thermal power plants from 2020 onwards. The use of modern high voltage direct current cables would enable the transportation of electricity from the MENA region with transport losses of only 10 - 15%: "By 2050 20 cables from MENA will be able to meet (...) about 15% of European electricity supplies using solar energy."
You can download either the complete study or a summary from the DLR website.