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3 dicembre 2008

Progetto europeo TREC - Piano Solare Mediterraneo

Per informazioni: Michael.Straub CHIOCCIOLA (engl/deutsch)

"Open letter from Dr. Gerhard Knies:
Dear supporters of the DESERTEC Concept,

the original visions of the Transmediterranean Renewable Energy
Cooperation TREC of EUMENA as a "Community for Development, Climate
Stabilisation and Good Neighbourhood", as conceived in the TREC founding
paper from October 6th 2003 (see attachment - it is very interesting to
read this over 5 years old paper!) are beginning to become a reality,
thanks to the Union for the Mediterranean and its Mediterranean Solar
Plan (MSP).
This is a very good message to all of us who worked for this goal since
5 years.

In fact, essential targets of the MSP are based on the DESERTEC Concept
presented in our White Paper summarizing the DLR studies MED- and
TRANS-CSP, and furthermore, as a senior member of the French Ministry
for economy and finance told me at the end of the Ministerial meeting on
the Solar Plan, on Saturday, 22/11 in Paris, also the conception of the
Solar Plan was directly stimulated by our work. After the sessions had
ended, he approached me to tell me: " Mr. Knies, you should know: TREC
is the father of the Solar Plan."
I replied that each success has many fathers, and that I know that there
are many who contributed! But he insisted that our work gave the
decisive kick to the French government, at the end of 2007.
He told me that he had been reading the TREC web sites since some time
and that he copied material, in particular the fresh White Paper on
DESERTEC, and gave it to colleagues in the government who were working
on the plans for the Mediterranean Union (now: Barcelona Proces: Union
for the Mediterranean), and that the information about the DESERTEC
Concept was recieved with great interest.

Indeed, I remember how we were surprised when Michael Straub was
approached by the French Embassy in Berlin because of the DESERTEC
Concept, on January 17th 2008, and then at January 25th, when I received
an e-mail from /Tristan Mocilnikar/ from the French Presidential office
which said:
"We are very much interested in these ideas. Can we have a talk about
that ?"
We immediately had one and several long phone conversations followed.

The approach by the French embassy was triggered by our presentation of
the DESERTEC-Concept at the "Zukunftssalon" of 4 MdBs ( /Hans-Josef
Fell, Josef Göppel, Michael Kauch, and Michael Müller/) in Dresdener
Bank, at November-6 2007, and the approach by the Presidential Office
went back to a recommendation to /Tristan Mocilnikar/ by /Paul Suding/
from REN21.
The DESERTEC Concept had also been brought to the attention of the
European Parliament at a public event, organized by 4 MEPs (/Matthias
Groote, Rebecca Harms, Vittorio Prodi and Anders Wijkman/) ****** in
Brussels, by His Royal Highness /Prince Hassan bin Talal /from Jordan,
on November 28th, and by handing over of the White Paper to the
Parliament's president Prof. /Gert Pöttering/. As a follow up, this
presentation led later to an appeal of 25 MEPs to the President of the
European Council, /Nicolas Sarkozy/, and to the President of the
European Commission, /Jose Manuel Barroso/.

Our communication with the French authorities in January then lead to an
invitation to the French embassy in Berlin at February 12th, to a 2+1/2
hour meeting with 3 representatives from the embassy, where we then were
asked about many details and about the status of the DESERTEC project.
At this meeting we were assured that France was seriously looking into
solar energy projects with the intent to create cooperation between
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, along the lines rolled out in
the DESERTEC Concept, even though France was pushing for nuclear energy
projects in this region at the same time. We were informed that its
nuclear power plans France would continue to pursue bilaterally and
directly with countries in this region. The solar energy projects as
envisaged in the MED-CSP and TRANS-CSP studies of DLR and then
summarized in our White Paper " The DESERTEC Concept", would be needed
in addition for the upcoming power demands, and could be the core of
joint efforts in the EUMENA region and become an important activity of
the Union for the Mediterranean.
We were also asked if we would know or what we would expect how the
German government might react when approached with this proposal.

The DESERTEC Concept then became a basic part of the first French
preliminary working paper for the Solar Plan from February 6th.
The communication and the cooperation with French President's office and
with French government branches in the run-up to the July 13th event was
very pleasant. We are glad that we not only contributed to the CSP
studies for the German Government, but by our work also to the transfer
of the outcome of these studies to European politics.
Now there is the Solar Plan, and it is officially called the flagship
project of the Union for the Mediterranean!

This is exactly what TREC originally wanted to achieve, but it is more
than most of us believed we ever would achieve.
With pleasure we here acknowledge the role of Minister /Jürgen Trittin/
who approved the financial support for the DLR-studies so swiftly at the
end of 2003, and the approval of the AQUA-CSP study by BMU under
Minister /Sigmar Gabriel/. We also enjoyed supporting efforts from
various sides, in particular from the Potsdam Institute of Climate
Change Impact Research (PIK), from the e-parliament network, and from
ESTELA association.

I thought you all should be informed on this very important process.

The new DESERTEC Foundation will now accompany and support the further
development of this great endeavour, to make it a real success on the
ground, and to spread this concept to other parts of the world with the
aim: DESERTEC - clean power from deserts for a sustainable world of 10
billion people.

My best regards

PS: feel free to pass on this e-mail to further people with an interest

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