imho Europe ought to glean their solar power decentrally within Europe, thus eliminating the need for vastly expanding upon European electrical powerlines infrastructure?
A case in point...:
The trouble with sourcing European solar generated electric power within the Sahara Desert or on its northern or southern bordering areas. (see especially the sub-topic „Obstacles“ of the below cited wiki report. Repeated here for convenience and emphasis.)
Centralized solar energy plants and transmission lines may become a target of terrorist attacks. Some experts – such as Professor Tony Day, director of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Building at London South Bank University, Henry Wilkinson of Janusian Security Risk Management, and Wolfram Lacher of Control Risks consultancy – are concerned about political obstacles to the project. Generating so much of the electricity consumed in Europe and in Africa would create a political dependency on North African countries which had corruption before Arab Spring and a lack of cross-border coordination. Moreover, DESERTEC would require extensive economic and political cooperation between Algeria and Morocco, which is at risk as the border between the two countries is closed due to a disagreement over the Western Sahara, Inram Kada by EUMENA, is responsible for expediting the project. Cooperation between the states of Europe and the states of the Middle East and North Africa is also certain to be challenging. Large scale cooperation necessary between the EU and the North African nations the project may be delayed due to bureaucratic red tape and other factors such as expropriation of assets.
There are also concerns that the water requirement for the solar plant to clean dust off panels and for turbine coolant may be detrimental to local populations in terms of the demand it will place on the local water supply. Opposed to this, studies point out the generation of fresh water by the solar thermal plants. Furthermore, no significant amount of water is needed for cleaning and cooling, since alternative technologies can be used (dry cleaning, dry cooling). However, dry cooling is more expensive, technologically challenging and less efficient than the water cooling currently planned. Plans for water desalination for cooling purposes are not part of the DESERTEC business plan or cost estimates as proposed.
The late Hermann Scheer (Eurosolar) pointed out that the doubled solar radiation in the Sahara can not be the only criterion especially with its continuous trade winds there being problematic[clarify].
Transmitting energy over long distances has been criticized[who?], with questions raised over the cost of cabling compared to energy generation, and over electricity losses. However, the study and current operating technology show that electricity losses using high-voltage direct current transmission amount to only 3% per 1,000 km (10% per 3,000 km).
Investment may be required within Europe in a 'supergrid'. In response, one proposal is to cascade power between neighbouring states so that states draw on the power generation of neighbouring states rather than from distant desert sites.
One key question will be the cultural aspect, as Middle Eastern and African nations may need assurance that they will own the project rather than it being imposed from Europe.