Desertec is an extremely ambitious plan to harness solar energy in North Africa and the Middle East and export it to the more energy-hungry European countries via a direct current (DC) high voltage grid.
A similar project on a smaller scale has now been drawn up for a grid around the North Sea instead of the Mediterranean. The idea is that the various countries around the North Sea will feed renewable energy from different sources (e.g. solar from Germany, hydroelectric from Norway, wind, at some point, from the UK), so any gaps in the supply of one kind could be filled by the others.
Read my story in today's issue of Current Biology:
Current Biology, Volume 20, Issue 3, R80-R81, 9 February 2010
PS: About the Desertec project I had a story in CB last August:
New grids on the block
Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 15, R626-R627, 11 August 2009