by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Nov 13, 2012
German automotive parts specialist Bosch said on Tuesday it was pulling out of an ambitious multi-national project to build giant solar power stations in North Africa and the Middle East.
A Bosch spokeswoman said the firm would not be renewing its involvement in the Desertec project when it ends at the end of the year, citing financial difficulties.
"Due to a more difficult economic situation, we have frozen all our engagements and have decided not to continue our investment in Desertec next year," said the spokeswoman.
The Desertec project aimed to generate some 15 percent of Europe's electricity consumption with solar and wind energy within the next 40 years.
The project was launched in 2009 by several German companies including Munich Re, Deutsche Bank, as well as energy giants E.ON and RWE.
French, Italian and Spanish companies also took stakes in an initial investment of 400 billion euros ($508 billion).
However, the project appears to have run into difficulties recently, with risks and costs judged too high and an uncertain political situation following the Arab Spring.
German engineering giant Siemens pulled out of the project in October after announcing it was quitting its activities in solar power.
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