Hyundai Unveils All-New Avante/Elantra with 1.6L GDI Engine at Busan Motor Show
Companies Form German Network of Competence for Li-ion Batteries

Audi Joins International Desertec Alliance as Associated Partner; Investment in Renewable Electricity

Audi this week signed an agreement with the international consortium “Desertec Industrial Initiative”. The long-term goal of the joint venture is the climate-friendly production of electricity in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. As an associated partner, Audi will initially work to create the right conditions and to establish the necessary infrastructure.

When at Audi we speak of sustainable mobility, we are looking at the entire energy balance. Electric cars from Audi will run on sustainably produced electricity. To achieve this goal we’re supporting the development of solar- and wind-driven power plants.

—Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG

Audi is looking to introduce its first small-series electric car to the market as early as 2012. In doing so, Stadler said Audi will not only apply the principles of sustainability to the production of the cars, but also to ensure that customers can sustainably operate the cars.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative is working to develop the right conditions for targeted investment in solar and wind energy on the basis of careful analysis. Today the Desertec Industrial Initiative is backed by 16 founding companies, the DESERTEC Foundation and associated partners, who work to support the initiative’s objectives.

In its view of the energy balance of its products, AUDI AG includes its production processes. Surpassing the common German mix, an above-average percentage of the energy needed for production is fed into AUDI AG’s plants from renewable sources. Photovoltaic panels on its roofs actively feed green electricity into the German grid. In the future, roughly an additional 14,000 megawatt hours are to be added to this through wind power; the utilization of biogas is also foreseen. The partnership with Desertec now expands this commitment.



The Sahara Desert could produce enough clean solar energy for Europe + most of Africa for the next 1 B years or more. Why not use it? The 450 million Europeans could manufacture the solar cells + controls + transmission lines + distributed storage units installed in many places in Europe and Africa. Africans could install and maintain the solar panels and power lines installed in Africa. Africa could benefit from lower domestic rates for the next 50 years or so.


The question arising today is given a choice between vast land use requirements for wind/solar and state of the art water splitting to make H2 locally - which is better environmentally?

While we must continue to build solar and wind projects, neglecting to utilize ubiquitous energy sources that require little more than a refrigerator sized box - seems foolish. And though many perceive deserts to be "wasteland" - most biologists do not. Deserts remain a part of the whole fragile eco-system and should not be wantonly paved over with solar panels any more than forests should be paved with cement.

While it may be disruptive in the near term, focusing a major build out of distributed energy resources such as Residential Power Units is the way to grow jobs, preserve environment, cut foreign oil reliance, and protect national security.

Tesla knew there is energy all around us. Hiding our heads in the literal sands is not the wisest choice to make use of it.

Sanity Chk

@sulleny, I think you make some excellent points here.

Residential power units have numerous advantages. They:
- can be installed without major upgrades to the grid
- are much less vulnerable to power outages
- incur no transmission losses
- can supply power to the grid during demand increases
- are able to make use of lower-carbon natural gas resources as an interim step to full renewable sources

Further, if I were Europe, I would think long and hard about putting a substantial amount of power generation off shore on the African continent. I would be very concerned about its vulnerability to attack - not just at the generation plant, but also all along the transmission route.



exactly. NG is a fine transition fuel and the current SOFCs (eg Bloom) are readily fueled by it. Another benefit is limiting grid expansion and maintenance, and new builds of central power plants. In emergencies, hundreds of small RPUs can supply backup power to grid outage areas or stabilize grid fluctuation.

Business model is for current utilities to handle installation and maintenance of RPUs built domestically by major appliance vendors (jobs!). We could reduce the demand on grid by 30 percent simply by converting to CHP-type units for municipal residents.

The comments to this entry are closed.