The Sahara is a long way from Europe

The idea of a massive solar farm in the Sahara, capturing some of the most intense sun rays on earth without much human or environmental impact, sounds good at first:
Today in Munich , the dozen-odd companies in the Desertec Initiative officially kicked off plans to build a $500 billion complex of solar power plants in the Sahara Desert to help bring clean energy to Europe.
Environmental Capital is concerned about a lack of alignment on the project goals; I'll just go ahead and reiterate that the trick is in the transmission.

Update: Via Green Sheet, Siemens CEO Peter Löscher has an answer for transmission skeptics like me:
SPIEGEL: Some experts have said they think it's not economical to transport solar power to Europe through huge distribution grids under the Mediterranean Sea.

Löscher: Energy superhighways can be both technologically efficient and economical. A few years ago we connected Tasmania with the Australian continent. And from 2011 there will be a 250-kilometer undersea cable supplying Majorca with electricity from the Spanish mainland. For us, this kind of thing is now part of our core business.

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