The Azimuth Project



DESERTEC is a long term project with the goal to build solar power plants in northern Africa. People working on DESERTEC do reseach about both technical and political aspects of this task.

The founding father of DESERTEC is Gerhard Knies, who was a particle physicist at DESY in Hamburg.

CNN made a short biography about him back in 2007:


DLR Articles

Here are links to several technical atricles published by the institute of technical thermodynamics, one of the institutes of the German centrum of aviation and space flight, the “Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)”.


Sustainable Energy in the Mediterranean Region

The scope was to create a database for decision makers showing the potential of renewable energies to solve the regional energy and water shortage and the corresponding cost escalation. A set of criteria for sustainability was defined including not only environmental issues, but also socioeconomic efficiency and security of supply. A scenario was developed showing that the growing demand for power and water can be satisfied in an affordable way by a well balanced mix of technologies and resources

Seawater Desalination

The AQUA-CSP study analyses the potential of concentrating solar thermal power technology for seawater desalination in the Middle East and North Africa. The result is a comprehensive data base on technology options, water demand and deficits of the MENA countries, water resources, solar energy resources and the potential markets for solar desalination. A long term scenario until the year 2050 quantifies the socio-economic and environmental impacts of this concept in the MENA region.

Global Solar Power Potential

The analysis of the technical potential of concentrating solar power (CSP) on a global scale was elaborated within the European project REACCESS. It is based on annual direct normal irradiation (DNI) data provided by NASA Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy program (SSE) Version 6.0.

The solar resource data has been uploaded to a geographic information system and processed together with spatial data on land use, topography, hydrology, geomorphology, infrastructure, protected areas etc. excluding sites that are not technically feasible for the construction of concentrating solar power plants. The result yields a global map of DNI for the land areas that are potentially usable for the placement of CSP plants.

University Collaboration

The DESERTEC Foundation, in cooperation with the Tunisian National Advisory Council for Scientific Research and Technology, has founded a platform for scientific cooperation for DESERTEC. Founding members besides the non-profit DESERTEC Foundation are 18 universities and research facilities from North Africa and the Middle East. It is planned to expand the network to a global platform, in order to promote the realization of the DESERTEC Concept “Clean Power from Deserts” in different regions of the world.


A study about the economic potential of CSP (concentrated solar power) technologies, the state of the art, which countries are likely to adapt these technologies, the available know how and production technologies of the German industry and how German companies can contribute - and of course profit! - from the worldwide deployment of CSP technologies, German only:

Siemens and Bosch pull out

Guardian article from November 2012: Desert solar power chief denies crisis.

category: energy, organizations