New Africa-Europe interconnection proposed by Green Energy 2020

Paris-based enterprise Green Power 2020 has prepared a new electricity interconnection proposal offering a link between Crete and northern Africa as a solar energy supply route from Africa to Europe. The plan carries similar traits to Desertec, an older plan.

The latest propoosal, referred to as Leg 1, represents a smaller version of Desertec. Green Power 2020 holds a license to develop 2,000 MW of solar power facilities in northern Africa.

Green Power 2020 was established by Gassan Anbar, a co-author and former head of the Med Grid plan, created in 2010 with the aim of transmitting electricity from Africa to Europe.

The Leg 1 project envisages the development of a two-way, 2,000-MW submarine HVDC power cable interconnection that could be upgraded to 7,000 MW.

The interconnection route would start from two points, Tobruk and Sallum, both located along the north African coast. The two lines would converge offshore and run as a single line to Crete over a distance of 347km before being linked with a Crete-Attiki (wider Athens) interconnection.

Green Power 2020 noted that a preliminary plan for the Crete-northern Africa interconnection has been prepared. The project’s budget is estimated at 1.5 billion euros in this plan.

It is anticipated that the project will be classified as an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI), which would facilitate EU funding, energypress sources informed. Green Power 2020 also aims to seek funding from another mechanism, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, as well as other entitities, including Libya’s energy ministry, the Arab League, Arab Regulators Forum and the Desertec Foundation, are all believed to have backed the ambitious project.

Green Power 2020 appears to have submitted a plan of the interconnection project to Greek authorities, while company officials held business talks in Crete just days ago, according to Cretan daily Patris.