3M Joins the Desertec Industrial Initiative

June 21, 2010

3M announced that it has joined the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii), based in Germany, as an associate partner. With a diverse portfolio of renewable energy offerings, 3M will contribute in the areas of film, adhesive and coating component technologies to the Desertec initiative.  3M will also contribute its expertise in the area of high-voltage overhead conductors. The company has developed a conductor based on ceramic-fiber reinforced aluminum that can carry twice as much electricity as conventional steel cables, even under the most challenging climatic conditions.

Examples of 3M products for the solar industry include mirror films and lenses for the concentration of solar light, encapsulating films designed to protect solar cells and charge collection tapes for photovoltaic modules.  New developments in coating technology are targeted to make surfaces more abrasion resistant and easier to clean.

The wind industry has been relying on 3M capabilities for more than 10 years, where special adhesive tapes have proven to be valuable in protecting the edges of rotor blades.  In the future, it is intended to increase the efficiency and reliability of wind turbines still further with the help of films, tapes, adhesives and also coatings from 3M.

3M is one of the most widely diversified companies in the world. One of its unmatched strengths is the varied use - often in combination - of its more than 40 core technology platforms. The company’s assets for the solar and wind industries were bundled into the Renewable Energy Division last year. 3M also established a European Research Center for wind, solar and geothermal energy creation. Application solutions for these industries are based on a selection of core competencies in the areas of films, tapes, adhesives and coatings.

The Desertec Industrial Initiative aims to create the framework generating a sustainable supply of renewable energy climate protective in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East and to prepare integration with the European power network. The long-term objective is to satisfy a substantial part of the energy needs of the MENA countries and meet as much as 15 percent of Europe’s electricity demand. The Dii (Desertec Industrial Initiative) currently consists of 17 shareholders. Among the founding members are ABB, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, HSH Nordbank, MAN Solar Millennium, Munich Re, RWE and Siemens. Since the beginning of February, the industrial initiative has gained the support of Klaus Töpfer, member of the German Christian Democratic party and former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as an advisor.

-Edited by Kelsey Anderson

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