Sahara Solar Breeder Foundation

Sahara Solar Breeder (SSB) Foundation
A Global Clean Energy Superhighway

Article I, Preamble

A. Unsustainability of the current global energy paradigm

Today, there is a widely-shared strong conclusion that the current overwhelmingly fossil-fuel-heavy global energy paradigm is unsustainable.

The main reasons are:

A.1) the rapidly rising cost of extraction of fossil fuel energy from less and less conventional regions and sources

A.2) the growing imbalance between the very rapidly expanding demand and the very slowly growing, even stagnating or dwindling supply of fossil energy

A.3) Climate Change and the grave and unsustainable impact of the current fossil fuel-fuel-heavy energy paradigm on the environment, on water resources, on land and other resources, especially in desert regions, especially in Africa and the MENA regions, of the current fossil- fuel -heavy energy paradigm

These trends underline the imperative and the urgency of migrating to a more sustainable global energy paradigm, and of establishing a solid long-term strategy for energy and sustainable development within a framework of a global partnership for peace, progress and prosperity.

B. The promise of energy efficiency and renewable energy

Japan was able to double the size of its economy between 1973 and 2000 with practically the same amount of energy. This is a measure of the great potential which higher energy efficiency holds for all countries.

As the June 2010 Yokohama symposium clearly illustrated, there is also a great variety of renewable energy technologies which can and must be all used, in order to advance the transition from the current situation to a more sustainable global energy paradigm, and achieve important economic, social and environmental objectives for sustainable development in the 21st century.

C. Energy from the desert

In 2008, in response to a G8 call, the IEA (International Energy Agency) published the ETP (Energy Technologies Perspectives) report, strongly advocating "a global revolution in [the] ways that energy is supplied and used" (Stefan Nowak, Chairman, IEA PVPS, May 2009)

The report concludes that "desert regions contain an abundant and inexhaustible source of clean energy, and that very large-scale solar electricity generation provides economic, social and environmental benefits, security of electricity supply and fair access to affordable and sustainable energy solutions." The report also concludes that VLS- PVPS, Very Large Scale Photo Voltaic Power Systems, are not only technically and commercially feasible, but represent one of the most promising solar energy solutions.

Similarly the report concludes that renewable energy from the desert will help mitigate climate change and environmental problems resulting from the current fossil-fuel based global energy paradigm. Finally the report concludes that energy from the desert will help mainstream fallow marginal desert waters and lands through desalination and through efficient and soil secure and environment friendly irrigations technologies.

D. The promise of desert regions:

Of all forms of renewable energy solar energy is by far the cleanest and most abundant. Vast geographic regions and areas, especially desert regions, offer inexhaustible reserves of clean solar energy which can be easily mobilised by a wide mix of solar energy technologies. As a result there is today a fast growing interest in these regions desert regions, which also offer vast reserves of land and other unused resources.

The Sahara desert in North Africa particularly, is the "Ocean" of deserts in the world. Most current representations of the Sahara, and of other desert regions, look at these regions either as exotic places for tourism, or as large marginal lands with harsh climate and living conditions. Scientific conferences on these regions often focus on issues of desertification, which is indeed a global concern aggravated by climate change.

However, we can also look upon the Sahara as an ocean of solar energy and an immense reservoir of fallow lands and resources such as brackish water, and other marginal resources which can be remediated, mainstreamed and harnessed back into the socio-economic and development process and value chain.

Indeed, abundant clean solar energy and available technologies can make possible water desalination, advanced irrigation systems, soil, water, and other resources monitoring, so as to insure the migration to a global sustainable socio-economic development system.

In this vision, the Sahara and other desert regions appear as an immense asset and a vast space of opportunity, and desert energy systems appear as an infrastructure with a very wide and long value chain impact on global socio- economic development, similar to the impact on desert regions of very large- scale dams and fresh water systems.

E. Sahara Solar Breeder Plan

In the year 2009, on the occasion of the G8+5 Academies' summit meetings in Rome, Science Council of Japan (SCJ) proposed an international collaborative project, "The Sahara Solar Breeder (SSB) plan directed towards the construction of a "global clean energy superhighway."

The initial stage of SSB plan is a ten year effort embodying the conclusions and recommendations of the report of Task 8 to the International Energy Agency on ETP, Energy Technologies Perspectives. In addition to the two already proclaimed values of the desert: free space and rich sunshine, SCJ highlighted in the Rome meeting silicon as the third value of the desert, as the new clean energy resource. Technological assessment of this possibility should also be pursued in this first stage. The main component of desert sand is silica, SiO2, which is the most abundant natural resource in the earth shell and is chemically convertible into silicon. If we could develop a process for large scale and low cost production of "solar grade (SOG) silicon", we would be able to turn the desert as an infinite reservoir of clean solar energy. To be started also in this stage and to be followed up in the subsequent stages is the feasibility study for implementing the super grid using HTSC, high-Tc superconducting, cable as well as for breeding Si solar cell plant to double the production capacity every energy payback time, which is about two years at current technology.

SSB advocates the view of undertaking collaborative basic, applied and development research, as well as industrial production and technical, commercial and financial support services to implement photovoltaic solar energy systems. The strategic objective is the establishment of "A Global Clean Energy Superhighway " as the solution to global energy challenges, water shortages, levelling of electric power supply in the world, climate change and other environmental problems arising from the current fossil-fuel heavy global energy paradigm.

SSB as an energy platform has the potential of becoming a platform for a sustainable agricultural, industrial, socio-economic and community development. In particular SSB has the potential of main-streaming marginal water and land resources and other desert resources through appropriate desalination and irrigation technologies. As such SSB has the potential of launching a new, long and wide-ranging cycle of general productivity and economic growth.

Finally SSB is a global collaborative project which contributes to the relaxation of constraints, the diversification of sources and technologies of energy and water, the mitigation of climate change and other environmental problems. As such it has the potential of reducing international tensions and conflicts over energy, water resources, and Climate Change produced by green house gases, and thereby of contributing to the advancement of a global partnership for peace, progress and prosperity.

1. SSB: an energy solution

The ultimate goal of SSB is to build a network of VLPS-PVPS stations, GW-up scale each, throughout the Sahara in North Africa, connected by HTSC cable, i.e. High critical Temperature Superconducting Cable. This global clean-energy superhighway will supply and deliver large amounts of clean, abundant, renewable and affordable electricity over very long distances without significant power wastage, first to North Africa, then to Europe, to Africa, and ultimately to the rest of the world, in a manner similar to the global information and communication super highway.

2. SSB: a development platform

SSB will promote basic and applied research, industrial production, storage, transportation and distribution of PV electricity.
International collaborative research and industrial production will bear on silicon and other PV materials, PV cells panels and modules, PVPS installation, operation, maintenance, networking VLS-PVPS, and monitoring ecosystems.

SSB will also foster many commercial activities, and job-creating support services activities.

SSB will also be a global scale development platform which will foster many activities related to water desalination, advanced irrigation technologies, agricultural development, manufacturing, industrial and financial markets, and tourism. It will also promote green and clean technologies, and services related to sustainable socio-economic development and to the protection of and remediation of the environment and desert region ecosystems.

SSB has the potential of launching a new, sustainable and long cycle of growth as well as general productivity improvement.

3. Cost-benefit analysis

Thus the cost benefit analysis of the economic return on a national level of SSB (and VLS-PVPS or other VLS-Solar Energy Systems) should not be limited to the financial and economic return of an energy solution, or made on the mere basis of a comparison between the cost of PV electricity and that of conventional electricity.

Rather, as in the case of large dams or very large-scale fresh water systems, it should be made on the basis of their wide-ranging and long-term impact on the agricultural, industrial and services sectors, and more generally on the long and wide cycle of socio-economic and environmental development, and on their geo-economic and geo-political dividends.

4. SSB as a Confidence and Peace Building Mechanism

Undertaken within a strategic collaborative framework in Science, Technology and Industry, SSB has the potential of yielding important geopolitical dividends. These dividends can take the form of a wider geographical and technological basis for energy supply, and therefore greater stability of energy prices, less international tensions and fewer conflicts over energy and /or water resources and/or green-house-gas emissions.

These features combine with the collaborative and global nature of the basic, applied, R&D, and practical research, silicon production, cell and module manufacturing PVPS installation, monitoring and maintenance, international transport and distribution, grid connection, commercial and financing activities. Together they give SSB the potential of launching a new and long cycle growth and a new paradigm of international relations based on the geo-economkics of a new M.A.D, Mutually Assured Development, substituting for the old geopolitics-based M.A.D, Mutually Assured Destruction.

SSB has therefore the potential of contributing to the advancement of a new global partnership for peace, progress and prosperity.

Article II, Name, legal structure, seat of the Foundation

1. The name of the Foundation shall be Sahara Solar Breeder Foundation or SSBF in short;
2. It shall be a private law foundation with legal capacity under the laws and regulations of....
3. The registered seat of the Foundation shall be....

Article III, Statement of mission

The mission of SSB Foundation is to advance the implementation of the vision outlined in the Preamble in Article I.
More specifically, SSF will endeavour over the next decades to

1. foster new thinking and advance basic, applied, development, and practical research and projects,

2. support the adoption of policies, reforms, regulations, and measures,

3. promote investment, trade, technology transfer, manufacturing, financing
and any other initiatives on the global, international, regional, national, local, corporate or civil society level aiming at priming or expediting the migration towards, and the transition to a new CO2-free, adequate, timely, accessible, affordable, sustainable, environmentally secure global energy paradigm, more efficient and more reliant on renewable energy from the desert, and specifically more reliant on photovoltaic electricity and Photo Voltaic Power Systems, PVPS.

Article IV, Purposes and activities of the Foundation

To fulfil its mission, SSBF will engage in promoting and advancing SSB related initiatives such as :
A. SSB Academic and research initiatives, SSBA in short
B. SSB Business and public policy initiatives, SSBB in short
C. SSB Cultural and public relations initiatives, SSBC in short


SSB Foundation will encourage and eventually undertake academic and research initiatives in order to

1. promote basic, applied, development, and practical research projects relevant to PV material, PV technology, and PVPS, and LSSEGS'(Large Scale Solar Energy Generation Systems) namely

a. the production of silicon and other PV material
b. the manufacturing of silicon wafers and cell modules for the transformation of solar energy into electricity
c. the transportation of PV electricity globally, over very long distances
d. the production of PV electricity through PVPS
e. the operation, maintenance, and monitoring of PVPS
f. the storage of PV electricity
g. the distribution of PV electricity through public and private grids, etc.

2. undertake the above activities, including the activities of identifying and securing sites, for SSBF members and for other interested parties whether public, private or civil

3. undertake feasibility studies to answer on a country per country, project per project basis, the questions of what, why, how, when, and whether

4. promote data collection, storage, and management, field experiment, monitoring systems, etc.

5. promote prototype projects, innovative start-ups, etc.

6. design and implement curricula for the training and development of human resources and capital needed for the implementation of SSB projects

7. promote cooperative, international research and training projects and programmes, conferences, and symposia, institutions specializing in knowledge, science and technologies relevant to SSB, and to desert development and protection.


SSBF will undertake business and public policy initiatives in order to

1. facilitate business initiatives relevant to SSB

2. convince all concerned decision-centers and decision-makers to remove road blocks and adopt road maps, legislations, policies, regulations, measures and instruments favourable to SSB and to desert regions development and protection.

3. encourage to create networks of individuals, institutions and business corporations and join efforts to implement PVPS projects, acquire technologies and know-how, share experiences and best practices

4. provide technology and business watch concerning PV technology, SSB, PVPS and VLSSEGS

5. create information and run centers, advisory centers, pilot plants, branch offices, and other facilities in the MENA and Africa regions and world wide for the extension, diffusion and dissemination of technologies, know-how, and best practices related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, solar energy and in particular, PV electricity and PVPS.

6. help raising funds, secure financing and tax and other incentives to implement SSB projects

7. help matchmaking, networking, identifying partners and building alliances and partnerships


SSBF will also undertake cultural and public relations initiatives in order to

1. increase acceptance of PV electricity and raise awareness of PV PS potential, as well as renewable energy and desert potential by informing, educating and outreaching the general public, the political, business and civil society establishments on the global, international, regional, national, local, corporate and civil society level

2. organise seminars, conference and round tables as well as other forms of public relations

3. award prizes to individuals, groups or institutions for undertaking pioneering projects or initiatives advancing the implementation of SSB vision and projects

4. help improve the image of desert life and regions, and build better awareness of their economic potential and cultural heritage

5. uphold and defend social and ecological standards and environmental and desert regions development and protection.

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web design by Yojiro Kitamura, 2010