One of the major backers has pulled out of a solar energy power plant plan for Africa and the Middle East.
“We see our part in Dii as done,” says spokesman Torsten Wolf of Siemens, one of 13 founding partners of the consortium, which is also based in Munich. Siemens also said that it will pull out of the solar-energy business altogether. Its decision was made in response to falling government subsidies for solar energy and a collapse in the price of solar equipment. But to DESERTEC’S critics, Siemens’ exit also adds to doubts about the plan, which is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. “DESERTEC is an ambitious attempt to do everything at once,” says Jenny Chase, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Zurich, Switzerland. “I think it’s something that will be achieved organically, bit by bit, which will probably be cheaper, easier and achieve the same results.” [emphasis mine]
The cited reasons suggest some fundamental problems with this particular project. That Siemens is abandoning the solar energy entirely, citing the lose of government subsidies as one reason, also suggests there is something fundamental wrong with the industry itself.
Then again, it could be just like the new commercial space industry. Some companies are willing to take the risks to make the money even without subsidies, while others are not.