Ecotality discusses a new power grid for Europe, Africa and the Middle East that proposes 1,000 renewable power plants for 100 billion watts of power. For comparison, Britain’s total electricity generating capacity is 12 billion watts.
More than a 100 steam concentrator solar power stations will each require 1,000 mirrors over a square kilometer. Many sites will include adjacent desalination plants to provide desert countries with fresh water. Many new hydro, biomass and geothermal power plants are also planned.
The project is being managed under the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation that is admitting that its current rate projections are double what Europe now pays for power from coal.
Along the southern coast of the Mediterranean, Libya is adding similar intercontinental-scale engineering with its plans for the world’s largest green project.
Restoring the ancient Greek city of Cyrene – taken by the Romans around 631 BC to begin their empire – is a focal point of the project. As well, Libya will install 136 miles of sustainable improvements along ‘one of the few remaining undeveloped coastlines in the world’.
Over 2,000 square miles will be developed, much irrigated by the nearly completed Great Man-Made River Project, which has held the record as the world’s largest engineering project for many years.
In a labyrinth of 1,000 miles of pipe – many 25ft. diameter concrete pipelines – the deep aquifers of north Sahara and of the Atlas Mountains are bringing unlimited irrigation and fresh water as far north as Tripoli. It was said that upon completion of the agricultural build-out, Libya could export up to one third of Europe’s daily demand for fresh produce!
During the mid-1980s, I helped manage an export contract of over $250million large diameter iron pipe to be made in Arkansas for 450 miles of this project, but the sale was denied because of an economic embargo against Libya. Whether Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea, or recently, Venezuela, it’s always smart, sometimes a required duty, to request advice and authorization from OFAC, the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US Department of the Treasury, before considering any activity with states that are not 100% friendly to the USA.
Our motive at the time was to keep the last public works iron pipe manufacturer in the USA from an inevitable bankruptcy. We knew that several larger US firms were working on behalf of Libya on the project, as well as several allies. The idea was conceived in the 1950s by Brown & Root – which moved its division to London to remove itself from the rules of the embargo.
After considerable lobbying, we found that President Reagan’s Secretary of the Treasury James Baker was in favor of our entirely civilian export proposal, but Vice President George Bush was strongly against it.
It’s my opinion that, unlike his son’s willingness to invade, the senior George Bush sought to subvert economic activity in any radical state, oil-funded or otherwise, and that he maintains his belief that economic embargo are potent US foreign policy tools.
But using economic embargo has serious distractors too. Unlike the isolation caused during an embargo, over many years Europe has maintained relations with volatile states and finds it far easier to restore and develop normal relations.