The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation, an initiative of the Club of Rome, is an international network of scientists and engineers developing a collaboration amongst countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to take advantage of the truly enormous quantities of energy falling as sunlight on the world’s deserts—and wind energy in those regions too.

The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is one of the richest countries in oil and gas resources in the world and has long been a significant energy supplier to the global market. The European Union (EU), India and China are potentially important customers for these resources, however there subsidised domestic consumption to meet Iran’s rapidly growing energy demands reduces the lucrative export potential of these valuable resources.

The solution is for Iran to satisfy it’s internal energy demands through the explotation of it’s domestic renewable energy resources, which include geothermal, wind and solar. Once self sufficiency has been achieved Iran can focus on supplying renewable energy to international markets further reducing the need to supply Oil and Gas for energy generation and instead using these resources to develop downstream products and it’s petrochemical industry.

Iran has already taken the first steps towards this goal with the construction of the Yazd Solar Thermal Power Plant YSTPP. In line with the Desertec concept the YSTPP includes a solar power generation facility which uses Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).

In order to export electricity to Europe and other markets the Desertec concept advocates the use of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission. HVDC transmission is a very efficient energy vector: Using HDVC transmission lines, loss of power during transmission can be limited to only about 3% per 1000 km. Although there would be transmission losses up to 15% between MENA and Europe, they are more than offset by the fact that levels of solar radiation in MENA are about twice what they are in southern Europe.


“Iran's contribution in developing a collaboration amongst countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to take advantage of energy captured within the world’s deserts”