UK Homes could be powered by cheap Solar Energy imported from North Africa by 2018
A team of investors dubbed TuNur; made up of a partnership between Nur Energie and Tunisian Investors are currently seeking for funding from the UK government. TuNur wants to import cheap solar energy from North Africa to power up to 2.5 million homes in UK by 2018.
The TuNur project is targeting to supply up to two gigawatts of solar energy from Tunisian sunshine to the UK if the UK governments grants it the contract for difference (CFD). The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc), published new rules in summer that will allow renewable energy projects developers based outside the UK to bid for contracts that will also include subsidies to supply power. There are a number of overseas energy producers who are now competing to bring renewable energy to the UK starting 2017.
TuNur has been on the site in Tunisia for three years collecting solar data, which has also been verified independently. The government of Tunisia has also passed the required legislation that will facilitate exportation of solar energy to the UK. Additionally, there has been an agreement with the Italian network operators to set up a dedicated undersea cable to a substation in Rome.
Kevin Sara, the Chief Executive, speaking to BBC, said, “This is not a back-of-the-envelope fantasy. We are working with some of the largest engineering firms in the world. This is a serious project. Yes, it is risky like any big energy project is risky. But there is nothing new about moving energy from North Africa to Europe.”
TuNur argues that despite the political turbulence in North Africa that resulted from the Arab Spring, the existing gas pipelines running from Algeria through Tunisia have never stopped working.
TuNur plans to use Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology that will allow them to store part of the solar energy generated and make the supply “dispatchable”. The supply can also be switched on or off as needed. The company says that its green energy supply will not only be 20% cheaper than UK’s home-grown green energy sources like the offshore wind turbines, but also it will be secure.
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