Dii (Desertec industrial initiative) discusses the latest 10 year plan for developing the European electricity grid of 2014.
They note that some of the projects for connecting Europe to Northern Africa that were included in the last 2012 plan have been dropped. The latest edition aims for one (in numbers 1) interconnection of 0.6 GW, to be ready by 2030.
And they call on ENTSO-E, the European network of transmission system operators for electricity, to reverse these steps in the wrong direction.
They note correctly that Northern Africa has better solar and wind resources than Europe and that therefore it makes even more sense to produce solar electricity there than in Germany.
I agree with that.
And the best way to get those power lines built: Just go ahead and build the capacity in Northern Africa anyway. There is a domestic market for the first couple of decades. Proceed to build the power lines once there is a clear price advantage that makes it profitable to have them.
And while the power lines are not in place, there is always the options of using quicklime for transporting solar energy from Africa to Europe, of using the energy right in the desert to suck up CO2, or to make some silicon.