Clean power from deserts

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Desertec-UK ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

This page records a selection of the more noteworthy things that Desertec-UK has been doing, leaving aside the more humdrum routine of writing letters and emails, making phone calls, updating the website, and so on. There is more information about publications by members on the highlights page. This page also includes information about the main TREC events.

Many thanks to Desertec-UK members and others that have been helping to push things forward.

2012

September

June

28 Marco Poliafico and Falko Schmidt gave a presentation about the Desertec concept at the seminar "Electrifying Europe: The Future Generation of Electricity and the Supergrid" held at the Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex, Brighton. Falko says "It was a great seminar and with very good presentations."

16 Hywel Roberts and Falko Schmidt gave a presentation about the Desertec concept at the Rio + 20 Alternative Conference in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, organised by the Campaign against Climate Change. The presentations were well received with good questions and discussions.

2011

April

11 Gerry Wolff gave a presentation about the Desertec concept at the conference on "Sustainable Supply" [of energy] at the Centre for International Business and Sustainability, London Metropolitan University, London, UK.

2010

December

3 Hywel Roberts and Rob Palgrave gave an hour-long presentation at the Innovation & Investment for a Low Carbon Future conference held at the Birmingham NEC. They outlined both the Desertec concept and the more recent work of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. The presentation was attended by delegates with varying levels of familiarity with the Desertec concept and was followed by an in-depth Q&A session.

October

26-27 Hywel Roberts attended the inaugural Annual Dii Conference & Expo 2010 on behalf of Desertec-UK. The conference was held at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona. Many interesting insights were gained and a number of useful contacts were established. Presentation slides and an accompanying set of notes, summarising some of the main points covered, are available here (PPT).

July

7-8 Gerry Wolff gave the keynote closing address on The Desertec concept: clean power from deserts at the Renewables 2010 conference (Marketforce and Institute of Economic Affairs), The Bloomsbury Hotel, London.

May

13 Hywel Roberts met with a group of lawyers at Macfarlanes LLP, who are based in Holborn, London. During the course of the interactive lunch session, Hywel was able to describe the main features of the Desertec concept and to outline the work completed to date by Desertec-UK and the Desertec Foundation, the aims of the Desertec Industrial Initiative were also discussed.

April

29 Hywel Roberts gave an evening presentation to the staff running the 10:10 campaign at their offices in Camden, London. The talk outlined the Desertec concept and the work undertaken to date by Desertec-UK, the Desertec Foundation and the Desertec Industrial Initiatve. A lively Q&A session included some searching questions on how to ensure the scheme's equitable implementation.

17 Hywel Roberts gave a presentation to an audience gathered in the Speaker Area at UK Aware 2010. UK Aware is the UK's only green and ethical lifestyle exhibition and this year took place at the Earls Court Olympia exhibition centre in London. Hywel's talk outlined the progress to date of the Desertec concept, from its origins as a German research project through to a potentially game-changing multi billion euro industrial initaitive. The talk was followed by a short Q&A session.

February

2 With Dr Howard Stoate MP, we organised a seminar about Desertec in Parliament, with contributions from Lord Philip Hunt, UK Minister for Energy, Mrs Amina Benkhadra, Morocco's Minister for Energy, Charles Hendry MP, the Conservative Party's Shadow Minister for Energy, and Simon Hughes MP, the Liberal Democrat Party's Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. See Leading politicians back "clean power from deserts".

2009

November

28 Hywel Roberts took part in the 'Great Global Warm-Up' event organised by Climate Camp and Zed books at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Hywel gave a presentation outlining the main features of the Desertec concept and joined a panel of speakers for the 'New Technology or New Society' workshop: Harry Shutt (author of The Trouble with Capitalism), David Fleming (Lean Economy Connection), Victoria Johnson (New Economics Foundation) and Clive George (author of The Truth about Trade). A lively debate followed.

7 Rob Palgrave, Jon Gascoigne and Hywel Roberts, ran a Desertec-UK stall at the Climate Emergency Copenhagen, London Public Forum. The event was organised by the Campaign for Climate Change as part of the run-up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit and featured various speakers and a range of exhibitors including, amongst others, Scientists for Global Responsibility, The New Economics Foundation, Oliver Tickell and Aubrey Meyer.

4 Gerry Wolff gave evidence to the parliamentary Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change for their enquiry into "Low carbon technologies in a green economy". Other people presenting at this session were Derry Newman and Jeremy Leggett, CEO and Chair, respectively, of Solar Century (representing the UK PV Manufacturers’ Association) and David Matthews, CEO of the Solar Trade Association. Owing to a technical fault, the video of this session is not available. But an uncorrected transcript has been posted on the Parliament website.

October

25 Polly Higgins and Gerry Wolff gave a webinar about Desertec for the 2degrees network, with questions and answers. This seemed to be well-received.

24 Jon Gasgoigne and Rob Palgrave attended the AGM of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) in London and ran a ‘poster session’ explaining the Desertec concept and answering questions. The theme of the AGM plenary session was ‘Building a Low Carbon Economy’. Apparently people were already quite well-informed about Desertec and had a number of questions including 'What can the UK do about CSP?' ,'How does Desertec avoid the charge of green imperialism?', 'Do we feel comfortable with large industrial organisations being involved in the Desertec Industrial Initiative?', 'How do you operate a CSP plant in areas where there are very limited water supplies?', 'When will the project become a reality?', 'Supergrid compatability for both large-scale and local electricity generation?', 'Is there a list of recent/planned CSP projects to show take-up of technology and organic growth?' Answers to many of these questions can be found on our FAQs page.

6 Gerry Wolff had a useful meeting with one of the energy advisors in the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Following our meeting with energy minister Lord Phil Hunt on the 21st of September (detailed below), the Department seems now to be much more positive and supportive of the Desertec project.

5 Gerry Wolff gave a talk, with PowerPoint slides, at the Energy Institute, at a meeting organised by the London and Home Counties branch. It seemed to be well received and there was a good discussion in the Q & A afterwards.

September

23 Following on from a previous introduction to the Desertec concept earlier in the year, Hywel Roberts presented a follow-on update detailing the formation and aims of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. The presentation was delivered to an audience of around 120 business leaders at the Olswang Cleantech forum in central London. Hywel shared the panel with Ken Rumph (Director and Cleantech analyst at Nomura Code Securities), Gaurav Mehta (Director of Zues Capital and Co-founder of the German Chapter of Pratham), Daniel Goldman (CFO and Co-founder of GreatPoint Energy) and Janine Freeman (Head of Sustainable Gas Group at National Grid). The talk and Q&A session were well received and some interesting contacts were made.

22 Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth made a presentation about Desertec at a meeting on Kick-starting disruption organised by Forum for the Future. He says the presentation went very very well and there was lots of interest.

21 Three of us (Dr Howard Stoate MP, Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth, and Gerry Wolff) had a very useful meeting in the DECC offices with energy minister Lord Phil Hunt and two of his advisors. The meeting was asked for by Dr Howard Stoate, partly on the strength of EDM 123 that he posted. Our aim in the meeting was to describe the main features of the Desertec concept (including the new Desertec Industrial Initiative) and its potential benefits for the UK and to suggest some specific things that the government could do:

  • Recognise the importance of the Desertec concept in cutting worldwide emissions of CO2.
  • Incorporate the Desertec concept in the UK's strategy for renewable energy.
  • Establish a Desertec team within DECC to promote Desertec developments.
  • Work with the UK’s international partners to make the necessary reforms in laws and regulations.

Lord Hunt said that the UK government was broadly supportive of the Desertec concept but accepted that there was a need for a clear and quotable public statement by the government to that effect. We felt that, from the positive and supportive nature of his remarks, that he had in effect accepted all the four points above. We are delighted with this. A public meeting is being arranged where Lord Hunt can speak about the Desertec concept.

July

16 Jon Gascoigne and Chris Le Breton set up and manned a Desertec display stand at the AGM of Stop Climate Chaos in Westminster in London. John writes "The Desertec-UK display was well-sited next to the stage and generated much positive interest, during registration and lunch, because people had heard Monday's news about the Desertec Industrial Initiative, there was a novelty value of a carbon solution rather than protest (c.f. 'quit dirty coal'), and there was interest in how Desertec relates to yesterday's UK Govt 'low carbon transition plan'."

7 Leon Di Marco was involved in organising a conference on the Mediterranean Solar Power Initiative at the Italian Cultural Institute in London. The meeting was organized by the Italian Embassy in London and the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) in collaboration with the German Embassy in London and with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute.

4 Gerry Wolff presented the Desertec concept at the "Manchester Report" event, organised by the Guardian newspaper and the Manchester International Festival in Manchester on the 4th and 5th of July. It was a series of talks about possible solutions to the climate change problem with Q & A by an expert panel and also from the audience. The Desertec presentation seemed to be well-received and has attracted some attention from the press (see Mirrors and wildebeest could save the planet, Daily Telegraph, 2009-07-04; Groundbreaking green ideas unveiled, Birmingham Post, 2009-07-05; Can cloud-making ships, giant algae "stomachs" and the lessons of the Serengeti save us?, The Guardian, 2009-07-06).

June

29 Professor John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, and two of his staff had a meeting with Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec-UK. The main elements of the Desertec concept were presented with PowerPoint slides and supporting documents were provided for later reading. Professor Beddington and his staff seemed interested in the ideas and asked about security issues and costs. We believe we are able to give good answers to possible worries on those fronts.

22 At the CUEN 2009 conference, Solar Power: Lighting the way towards a sustainable future, Gerry Wolff spoke about "The Desertec concept: clean power from deserts" and Graham Ford spoke about "The technology of terawatt power generation: concentrating PV and smart transmission". Both talks were well received.

19 Graham Ford, CEO of HelioDynamics and a member of Desertec-UK, spoke about "Concentrating Solar Power" at Cleanpower 2009 in Cambridge.

18 In connection with the recent announcement by Munich Re, and at the invitation of the organisers, Desertec-UK was invited to speak at short notice at the Solar Economics Forum: Towards Grid Parity in the Millenium Gloucester Hotel in London. Rob Palgrave kindly agreed to go to present slides about Desertec and the new developments. Although the main focus of the conference was on the nuts-and-bolts of CSP and related business issues, people were interested in the Desertec big picture and the new announcement.

14 Una Hodgins set up our display stand, banner etc at the EcoFest event in Furnivall Gardens in London, gave out leaflets and answered a lot of questions, including many technical ones. She says that many people showed a lot of interest, and knowledge of recent discussion in the national media. "I was busy for the four hours of the festival, in beautiful sunny weather." she says.

May

19 Hywel Roberts presented the Desertec concept to an audience of around 100 businessmen at the Olswang Cleantech forum in central London. Hywel shared the panel with Professor Chris Turney (Chair in Physical Geography - University of Exeter, Board Director - Carbonscape), Jock Whittlesey (Counselor for Environment, Science, Technology and Health - US Embassy London), Matt Lambert (Director of Corporate Affairs and Citizenship - Microsoft) and Jake Ronay (Programme Manager Large Scale Renewables, Tesco). The talk and Q&A were well received and several interesting contacts were made.

13 Hywel Roberts and Rob Palgrave attended the annual general meeting of PRASEG (the Parliamentary Renewable And Sustainable Energy Group) in London. They also hosted a Desertec stand, which attracted a lot of interest. There appears to be growing recognition of the potential of desert regions to supply clean energy to EUMENA.

13 Gerry Wolff made a presentation of the Desertec concept to a well-attended public meeting in Derby organised jointly by Derby City Council and the Campaign against Climate Change. The other speaker at the event was renewable energy pioneer Professor Tony Marmont of Beacon Energy. Both talks were very well received and there were interesting questions and discussion.

8 Gerry Wolff and Neil Crumpton of FoE made a presentation of the Desertec concept to some of the government's Committee on Climate Change and several members of their support team. We were particularly keen to get across the colossal potential of the Desertec concept and the fact that it is not something for the distant future but is taking shape now. People seemed very interested in what we had to say.

6 Gerry Wolff gave a presentation about the Desertec concept to a team of people in the Science Museum who are working to develop the museum's new gallery about climate change (due to open in 2011). They seemed very interested but they made it clear that they would have to be selective and could not guarantee that Desertec (or any other particular aspect of renewables) would feature in the gallery.

April

30 Rob Palgrave gave a talk about clean power from deserts to a group of MSc and PhD environmental strategy students at Surrey University. It is possible this may be adopted as a regular event in their programme.

March

21 As part of a session about renewable energy at the Green Party national conference in Blackpool, Gerry Wolff gave a talk about the Desertec concept. At the same conference, prior to Gerry's talk, the conference had passed two motions (EN809 and EN810, PDF, p 29) in favour of aspects of the Desertec concept.

3 Gerry Wolff gave a talk about the Desertec concept to nearly 200 students, staff and others at Imperial College London. As at LSE, there was a lot of interest and many questions were asked.

2 Gerry Wolff gave a talk about the Desertec concept to more than 200 students, staff and others at the London School of Economics, an event organised by the Students' Union Environment Society. People seemed very interested in the ideas and many good questions were asked.

February

23 Dr Peter Foreman gave a talk about the Desertec concept to about 80 students and Mechanical Engineers at the Plymouth University. There was a lot of interest and lively discussion covering a range of issues including the merits and demerits of nuclear power, the need for greater coverage of the Desertec ideas in the media, the need for more politicians who are engineers, the supergrid, political aspects of the Desertec concept, the need for more commitment from politicians, and more.

23 Gerry Wolff made a presentation, giving a UK perspective on the Desertec concept, and was on the panel with other speakers at a seminar about the Desertec concept for MPs and others organised by the PRASEG and APPCCG parliamentary groups in the Attlee Suite in Portcullis House in London.

January

11 The Desertec concept formed a good part of the presentation given by Wael Hmaiden at the Offshore Arabia 2009 conference in Dubai.

9 Our leaflet, The Desertec concept in brief (PDF, 179 KB), was sent to sent to all 646 MPs together with a personalised covering letter asking each MP to sign Early Day Motion 123 in support of the Desertec concept.

2008

December

1-12 Wael Hmaidan included slides about the Desertec concept in two presentations that he made at The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan.

6 About 10 of us joined the National Climate March, complete with our Desertec banner and a varied collection of placards. We gave out lots of Desertec leaflets!

4 Dr Howard Stoate MP kindly posted Early Day Motion 123 in support of the Desertec concept. By April 2009, this had attracted the signatures of 128 MPs.

November

22-23 In the small hours of Saturday/Sunday morning Polly Higgins gave a presentation of "Speed CSP" to a group of approximately 90 individuals at the Lluminopilous rave in London. She says "You have heard of speed dating—we did speed CSP and I took them on a mind-expanding journey and talked of the need to think big about bold solutions. Wild Law in action (the calling for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights) was also well received.  No heckling (save one guy who insisted on shouting 'yeah—the future is here!' We liked him), and they all stayed put, listened and clapped loud and long. Was a good night!"

19 Gerry Wolff was interviewed for a feature about the Desertec concept on the "green" radio station Passion for the Planet.

18 Three Big Climate Change Solutions was an event held at 18:30 at the Conway Hall, London WC1, featuring Desertec: clean power from deserts, a presentation by Polly Higgins of Desertec-UK, The Sahara Forest Project, a presentation by Charlie Paton and Michael Pawlyn, and A Call for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights, a presentation by Polly Higgins. The meeting was chaired by fashion designer Katharine Hamnett. Dr Gerry Wolff of Desertec-UK and Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth answered questions.

12-13 Gareth Selwyn Owen and Hywel Roberts attended the 2nd Annual Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Summit in Seville. They say the conference was excellent, with 500 delegates and useful presentations and discussions about a range of subjects including challenges facing CSP developments, problems arising from the credit crunch, and the latest developments in CSP technologies.

10 Gerry Wolff travelled by train from North Wales to Cologne to attend a meeting for planning the policies, activities and operation of the new Desertec Foundation. The Foundation aims to bring improved resources and organisation to the task of promoting the Desertec concept and its realisation throughout the world.

5 Dr Peter Foreman gave a well-received talk about the Desertec concept at the Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum.

5 Gerry Wolff gave a talk about "Clean power from deserts" at the Future Power conference in the Crowne Plaza hotel in London's docklands. The session included a presentation by Samer Zureikat of MENA Cleantech who talked about CSP in relation to water supply in the Middle East and North Africa, and a presentation by Thomas Hinderling of CSEM who talked about solar islands. There was a lot of interest in all three presentations and several good questions in the joint question-and-answer session afterwards.

October

25 Hywel Roberts hosted a Desertec-UK display at the Scientists for Global Responsibility annual conference. The theme of the conference, which was attended by over 70 delegates, was Sustainable Buildings and Communities. Hywel says that the information was generally well-received and generated a fair amount of interest, as well as quite detailed technical questions.

21 Una Hodgkins set up the Desertec roller banner display, gave out leaflets and talked to people at the ecoConnect event at Kew Gardens in London. Our stand attracted a lot of attention and many people took our leaflets.

7 Professor Sir Brian Heap included slides about the Desertec concept in his presentation to the meeting "Lighting the way: towards a sustainable energy future" at the Accademia Naziole dei Lincei in Rome. People showed a lot of interest in the proposals.

September

28-Oct 1 Mark Townson showed our roller banner stand and distributed our leaflets at the Climate Clinic at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. Many thanks to Mark for his help at this event and the Labour party conference (next).

20-24 Mark Townson showed our pop-up stand and distributed our leaflets at the Climate Clinic at the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

13-17 David Weight set up the Desertec stand and gave out leaflets at the Climate Clinic at the Liberal Democrat's annual conference in Bournmouth. David writes:

I was able to attend a number of interesting events and by questioning the panel, able to raise the awareness of the Desertec approach.  This was well received generally. Jonathan Porritt was very supportive indeed, and at two other meetings, the Energy Spokesman, Steve Webb MP was also encouraging, but expressed the need for international cooperation to upgrade the grid. ... A couple of people expressed concern about how the technology could be wrongly used to exploit Africa, but as Steve Webb said, it would be great for poor areas of Africa to have something to sell to Europe.

5-8 Rob Palgrave kindly organised a Desertec stand at the Green Party Autumn conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London over the long weekend. Rob writes:

Our stand attracted a lot of interest and generated some challenging debate, particularly on the question of whether Desertec is yet another form of energy colonisation of poorer countries. During the weekend, we met many of the senior members of the Green Party, and had a very enjoyable discussion with Sian Berry, the London Mayoral candidate, on why DC is better than AC for long distance electricity transmission and how you convert from one to the other. Her A-level physics had not deserted her!

Many thanks to Rob for organising things and to Rob Basto, Chris Le Breton, Una Hodgkins, Leon Di Marco, Hywel Roberts, and Anthony Seeto for all their help.

August

12 Polly Higgins gave a talk about the Desertec concept to a packed room in Penryn, Cornwall, with academics from Truro and Falmouth Universities, people from local renewable industries, local FOE and Transition Famouth folk, lawyers and more. She says she "started at 6.40 pm and had to end it at 9.20 as I had had enough!  The questions just kept coming and it was a really dynamic audience, with some good questions."

6 Polly Higgins gave a seminar about the Desertec concept at the Camp for Climate Action near Kingsnorth, Kent. The camp is a protest against the proposal to build a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. The seminar was well attended and there was a lot of interest. For more about the seminar and Polly's day at the Camp, see Polly's blog.

July

30 Gerry Wolff and Graham Ford (CEO of CSP company HelioDynamics) had a very useful meeting in London with Gaynor Hartnell, Deputy Director of the Renewable Energy Association. It was agreed that HelioDynamics would join the REA and that Graham would set up a new Desertec group within the Association. Many thanks to Gaynor and to Graham for taking things forward.

June

24 Dr Howard Stoate MP kindly posted Early Day Motion 1871 in support of the Desertec concept. By the end of the parliamentary session in December, this had attracted the signatures of 62 MPs.

19 Gerry Wolff, Neil Crumpton and Polly Higgins had a meeting with shadow energy minister Charles Hendry MP and associated staff, to present the main elements of the Desertec concept and to try to answer questions. We are very grateful to Charles Hendry and his staff for their favourable response and their time.

14-15 At the Climate Forum organised by the Campaign against Climate Change, Gerry Wolff and Polly Higgins gave presentations about the Desertec concept while Rob and Clare Palgrave, Leon Di Marco and Hywel Roberts ran a Desertec stand. We all gave out lots of leaflets and talked to lots of people. After a slow start, many people were showing interest in the ideas and asking lots of questions.

11 Dr Howard Stoate MP, Gerry Wolff, Neil Crumpton and Polly Higgins had a meeting with energy minister Malcolm Wicks MP and two of his staff. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information about the Desertec concept and to answer questions and I think we succeeded in that. Malcolm Wicks is clearly interested in the Desertec proposals although he has expressed worries about costs and security of supplies. I believe we have been able to provide good answers to those concerns, partly in what we said and partly in the documents we provided. Malcolm Wicks has asked that one of his staff investigate further and we will be helping with that as far as we can. We are very grateful to Dr Howard Stoate for his help in setting up this meeting and to Malcolm Wicks and his staff for their time.

1 Nuclear v CSP at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival

Polly Higgins writes:

Fashion designer Katharine Hamnett hosted an informal debate on Nuclear v CSP to a crowd of over 100 at the Hay Literary Festival.  Paul Brown, ex-Guardian environment correspondent, discussed his new book ‘Voodoo Economics’ chronicling how the UK nuclear industry has now reached the brink of technical and financial disaster and Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper outlined the benefits of CSP and the Desertec proposal.  

Paul Brown's booklet Voodoo Economics can be downloaded from the FoE website, and will also be available for sale in printed form at £4 per copy.


  Click the image to enlarge it

1 Five members of Desertec-UK hosted a stand at the Camden Green Fair in Regents Park, London. Many thanks to Rob Palgrave, Hywel Roberts, Leon Di Marco and Tamara Campbell for putting this on. There was a lot of interest, many good contacts were made and many of our leaflets were given out.

May

10-11 We hosted a stand about the Desertec concept at the London Aware 08 exhibition in the Barbican Centre in London, distributed many leaflets and talked to lots of people. Many thanks to Rob Palgrave and Polly Higgins for organising things and to several other members of Desertec-UK for helping to run the stand.

Polly Higgins, Gerry Wolff and Rob Palgrave at the Desertec stand at the exhibition.

6 Rob Palgrave and Polly Higgins attended the annual conference in London of the Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG). They also mounted a Desertec exhibition at the conference, distributed leaflets and made useful contacts.

April

28 Gerry Wolff and Neil Crumpton visited Albert Owen, MP for Anglesey, to discuss the Desertec proposals and how they may be advanced. Mr Owen agreed to contact relevant ministers about the benefits of the Desertec concept and suggested a presentation about the ideas to him and his parliamentary colleagues at a date to be arranged.

23-24 Energy Forum "10,000 Solar GigaWatts" (PDF, 167 KB) at the Hanover Fair. This event was organised by the main TREC group. Videos and sound recordings of the presentations may be seen or heard via these two pages:

23 Neil Crumpton gave a talk about the Desertec ideas to members of the West Midland Branch of the Institute of Marine Engineers at Shirley, near Birmingham. As usual, the ideas created a lot of interest.

22 Gerry Wolff visited the BBC World Service at Bush House in London (again - see 9 April) and was interviewed about the Desertec ideas by Monica Whitlock for an edition of the "Analysis" programme. The programme is was broadcast throughout the day on 2008-04-28.

9 Gerry Wolff, Neil Crumpton and Polly Higgins visited Forum for the Future in London for a lunch-time meeting to present an overview of the Desertec concept. People seemed to be very interested in the ideas.

9 In the afternoon of the same day, Gerry Wolff visited the BBC World Service at Bush House in London and was interviewed about the Desertec ideas by Peter Lewenstein of Network Africa for a programme about the potential of solar power in Africa that was broadcast throughout Africa on the 6th of May 2008, 06:30 GMT.

March

26 Dr Peter Foreman gave a talk about the Desertec concept to about 55 members and guests of the Chelmsford Engineering Society at the Telford Theatre, BAE Research Labs, Chelmsord. The talk created a lot of interest and was well received.

February

28 Dr Howard Stoate, MP for Dartford, was successful in a bid for an "Adjournment Debate" about the Desertec proposals in the House of Commons. The debate was held at 6 pm on the 28th of February:

Gerry Wolff of Desertec-UK provided briefing information for Dr Stoate's speech.

21 Polly Higgins gave a talk about the Desertec ideas at Brunel University. She said: "A rather well-informed audience (mainly those brainy engineering students) kept me on my toes with almost an hour of questions after the presentation. In danger of becoming hoarse!"

5-6 February

Four of us (Gerry Wolff, Polly Higgins, Annette Mercer, and Mike Ross) attended the CSP Congress in Barcelona. We learned a lot and made many good contacts.

In the photo, Polly Higgins and Annette Mercer take a break in Paris on the train journey back from Barcelona.

2007

November

28 Four members of Desertec-UK attended an event in Brussels where the "White Book" about the Desertec concept was formally presented to the European Parliament. Here is Polly Higgins's report about the day:

In the morning, we attended a meeting (held most appropriately at the Green Party offices) where a presentation was made by Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and Gerhardt Knies outlining their plans to promote fast implementation of the EUMENA-Desertec Concept.  Finance is required for a full time office.

Representatives from various businesses (including SCHOTT, ABB, SOLAQ, SOLAR MILLENIUM) voiced their support and orally endorsed the proposals presented for a EUMENA-Desertec Association which, it is envisioned, will be fully implemented in January 2008.

In the afternoon the EUMENA-Desertec Concept was presented to the EU Parliament by Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and Dr Franz Treib. A packed hall of MEP's, industry stakeholders and international press attended.

Photos from the event can be downloaded from here: photosfrombrussels.zip (18.5 MB). The "White Book" can be downloaded via this link: Clean power from deserts: the Desertec concept for energy, water and climate security (PDF, 2.2 MB). A press release about the presentation may be downloaded from our press releases page.

13 Gerry Wolff and Neil Crumpton gave a seminar about the Desertec concept to specialists in energy policy at the Chinese Embassy offices in Maida Vale, London.

13 Gerry Wolff (Coordinator of Desertec-UK) and Neil Crumpton (Friends of the Earth) gave a presentation about CSP and the Desertec concept at a "breakfast" meeting of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in the House of Commons.

We believe the meeting can be counted as a success. The room was full (it takes 35 people) and was, apparently, the best-attended breakfast meeting that the Committee has organised. There was a lot of interest and lots of questions and reactions seemed to be generally positive. Everyone received a copy of the Guardian article and a copy of our "CSP in brief" leaflet.

Possibly the most useful thing about this event from the point of view of raising awareness of the Desertec proposals is that the Committee will be publishing a 1500-word "briefing report" that we have prepared, together with notes about the Q&A part of the meeting. This appeared in the publication Science in Parliament in February 2008 and we understand that every member of Parliament (MPs and Lords) has received a copy, as well as many people outside Parliament.

The meeting was proposed by Dr Howard Stoate MP and organised by Dr Doug Naysmith MP (Chairman of the Committee) and Professor Peter Simpson (Secretary) and we are very grateful to them for that.

October

30 Dr Gerhard Knies of the main TREC group and Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century participated in an interesting online webinar organised by The Climate Group and hosted by Diana Profir from the Group.

September

31 Investing in deserts (PDF, 1 MB, Risk & Reward, vol. 1, issue 2, Autumn 2007, pp. 4-7). This is an article about CSP and the Desertec concept, from an investment perspective, written by Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec-UK.

13 Gerry Wolff gave a talk to the local Friends of the Earth group in Coventry.

July

27 Catching some rays in the desert (JPEG, 149 KB, Money Week). Thanks to Mike Graham and Polly Higgins (members of Desertec-UK) for helping to get this published. To enlarge the image, click the '+' with Firefox or the 'enlarge' button with Internet Explorer.

7 A short film about CSP and the Desertec concept has been produced by film maker Peter Walsh. It features Katharine Hamnett (leading fashion designer and member of Desertec-UK), Dr Gerhard Knies (Coordinator of the main TREC group), and Tony Juniper (Director of Friends of the Earth UK). The film was made for Al Gore's new cable TV channel and was screened over the weekend of the Live Earth concert in London (7th and 8th July, 2007). The film may be viewed online here: http://uk.current.com/watch/133890732 .

5 Gerry Wolff and Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth made a presentation about CSP and the Desertec concepts to people from the DTI, DEFRA and the Treasury at the DTI offices in London. We were invited to give this presentation as a follow-up to the presentation we made to the DTI in April.

1 Win-win: concentrating solar power (PDF, 107 KB, Greenpeace Business, July 2007, page 6). This is a short article about the Desertec ideas by Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec-UK.

June

5 "Desert Bounty" Where can one find an oasis? (News Blaze). This is a feature article about the Desertec ideas by Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec-UK.

1 The potential of power from deserts (PDF, 350 KB, SGR Newsletter, Summer 2007, Issue 34). This is a feature article about the Desertec ideas by Gerry Wolff, Coordinator of Desertec-UK, in the Newsletter of Scientists for Global Responsibility.

May

31 Concentrating solar power for energy security and climate protection (PDF, 2.9 MB, Imperial Engineer, Issue 6, Spring 2007, pages 14, 15 and 19). This is an article about the Desertec ideas by Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth and a member of Desertec-UK.

31 The lazy environmentalist (JPG, 1.2 MB, Concept for Living, Issue 102, May 2007, p 69). This is an article about the Desertec ideas by Polly Higgins, a member of Desertec-UK. To enlarge the image, click the '+' with Firefox or the 'enlarge' button with Internet Explorer.

31 Article by Gerry Wolff in IET Power Engineer (PDF, 520 KB). A slightly updated version has been republished in The Oil Drum, 2007-05-31.

24 Dr Gerhard Knies, Coordinator of TREC, gave a talk with slides at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, UK. This was very well received and created a lot of interest in CSP and the Desertec ideas. Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge them.

  Hay Festival 1   Hay Festival 2
  Dr Gerhard Knies (at the lectern), Nicola Haywood Thomas (Chair), Katharine Hamnett, and Neil Crumpton (FoE).   Dr Gerhard Knies (speaking) and Katharine Hamnett.

23 John Hemming of Desertec-UK, Neil Crumpton of FoE and Desertec-UK, and Frank Field MP, had a half-hour meeting with energy minister Malcolm Wicks MP. This meeting, which was kindly arranged by Frank Field with Malcolm Wicks was intended to provide information to Malcolm Wicks about the several advantages of the Desertec proposals. It was successful in that respect although it has not yet led to any firm commitment by the Government to back the Desertec proposals.

April

30 Gerry Wolff, Neil Crumpton, Dr Peter Foreman and Polly Higgins made a presentation at the DTI in London.

26 Gerry Wolff and Rob Palgrave visited The Climate Group and made a presentation about the Desertec concept to Steve Howard (CEO), Diana Profir (specialist in renewable energy) and other members of the group. As a result of this meeting and further study of the concept, The Climate Group invited Dr Gerhard Knies to present the Desertec ideas in a webinar about solar energy on 2007-10-30 (see above).

20 There are brighter ideas than nuclear (Utility Week, 2007-04-20). This is a JPEG copy of an article by Robert Palgrave, a member of Desertec-UK, contrasting nuclear power and its many shortcomings with CSP and its advantages. To enlarge the image, click the '+' with Firefox or the 'enlarge' button with Internet Explorer.

March

23 Neil Crumpton of FoE is interviewed by Peter Tatchell on "Talking with Tatchell" (2007-03-23)

February

5 Gerry Wolff gave a talk about the TREC ideas in Birmingham to a meeting of about 60 people, organised by the local branch of FOE. There were two other speakers at the meeting, one from Christian Aid and the other from Oxfam and we each spoke for about 15 minutes. There was a lot of interest in all three talks and lots of questions.

January

18 Dr Peter Foreman gave a talk, which was well-received, to about 50 staff and students at the International School in Cobham, Surrey.

2006

December

7 Gerry Wolff gave a slide show at the Science Cafe in Bangor. There was quite a lot of interest and a lively discussion.

November

27 Report about CSP in the Guardian newspaper. There is also an interview about CSP with Dr Gerhard Knies on BBC Radio 4, The World Tonight (see the first entry for the 27th of November on the News page).

September

9 Gerry Wolff gave a slide show about CSP and the TREC concepts at the Friends of the Earth Local Group in Birmingham. This generated a lot of interest, lots of questions and several people very kindly volunteered to help with the work of Desertec-UK.

August

5 Gerry Wolff gave a slide show about CSP and the TREC concepts at the Big Green Gathering near Cheddar in Somerset, and distributed copies of the July press release around the camp with other leaflets about CSP. As usually happens with these ideas, reactions were very positive.

July

31 Issue of the press release New report shows how Europe can make deep cuts in CO2 emissions and phase out nuclear power at the same time.

June

3 At the Climate Conference organised by the Campaign against Climate Change, Dr Peter Foreman FIEE kindly gave a slide show about CSP and the TREC concepts. This was in workshop session 2 about 'Alternative Energy Sources and Solutions', together with Jeremy Leggett of Solar Century (author of 'The Carbon War' and 'Half Gone') and Robin Oakley of Greenpeace UK.

The slide show generated a lot of interest and the leaflets about CSP that were made available at the slide show were snapped up.

April

11 Gerry Wolff distributed leaflets about concentrating solar power and its potential to people attending the seminar on Energy... for the future at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London.

8 A leaflet describing concentrating solar power and its potential was sent to all 646 MPs, with a personalised covering letter. Several MPs were kind enough to reply and many of those replies were very positive.


Last updated: 2012-09-12 (ISO 8601)