Now PV Magazine has talked with Desertec Foundation’s Thiemo Gropp, and they have gotten some more information on the recent decision of the Foundation to leave the Industrial Initiative.
Apparently, this was about the fact that Desertec Foundation was surprised to read in a news report that the idea of exporting electricity to Europe was given up by the Industrial Initiative.
If so, this is a massive failure on the part of the Foundation. They don’t even disagree with any position of the Industrial Initiative. They were only complaining about a lack of information flow.
If that is all it takes to have them back out of a project, they are clearly lacking in reliability. Asian potential partners like the Japanese Renewable Energy Foundation should take note, and be warned that Desertec Foundation may start backstabbing maneuvers like this stunt anytime. Don’t count on Desertec Foundation as a project partner, would seem to be the clear lesson from this.
As to the substance of the conflict, there is zero need right now to decide how these questions of market integration play out a decade from now. Let people figure it out later.
Thiemo Gropp also was cited with this:
When asked how damaging the loss of high-profile backers such as Deutsche Bank, RWE and E.ON would be, Gropp said: “They are big names but they have produced small results.”
That’s not something you should say in public about big industrial partners trying to get this project off the ground. I think Thiemo Gropp should be looking for some other line of work, if he thinks this is appropriate. This kind of comment is rather damaging to the concept of energy from the desert. It sure won’t help find new backers for the Desertec Foundation.