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Morocco’s new Solar Project to Generate 2000MWs, posted in Future Energy, Industry, Solar Power.


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Morocco’s new Solar Project to Generate 2000MWs

News » Energy | Biofuels | Environment | Hydrogen | Solar | Transportation | Wind
April 4th, 2010 - View Comments

Morocco Solar Project Morocco is a North African country with no oil reserves. But nature has endowed this country with another bounty i.e. over 3000 hours of sunshine per year. Now they are aiming to undertake an ambitious plan of producing 40% of their energy needs via solar energy. They will spend $9 billion to generate 2000MWs of energy by 2020. It will require 5 solar power stations to produce 2000MWs of energy. These power stations will be situated in the regions of Ouarzazate, Ain Bni Mathar, Foum Al Oued, Boujdour and Sebkhat Tah. The first station is expected to become operational by 2015.

Morocco’s Finance Minister Salaheddine Mezouar wants the world to perceive Morocco as an environmentally friendly country. He said, “The project sends a very clear message in the current situation, which is dominated by the need to face up to the challenges of climate change.” The minister added that “Morocco is determined to protect the environment in all its future projects.”

Morocco’s authorities are assured of the success of this project. Energy Minister Amina Benkhadra makes a promise, “This is a bold but realistic project. We will guarantee all the technical and financial resources to make it succeed.”

This country’s politicians are eager to cut its dependence of foreign oil and gas imports and save money and to leave green footprints in the sands of time. For the project, Morocco is mobilizing multiple financing sources and partners. Morocco can get help for this project from the World Bank, the European Commission, and Germany and Desertec. Desertec is a coalition of 13 energy and technology companies aiming for a renewable energy grid in Africa and afterward shipping the energy to Europe. Desertec was founded in 2009. Their organization’s focus is on alternative power generation using wind and sunlight. They want to construct a series of concentrated solar power (CSP), photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Said Mouline is the director of Morocco’s Centre for Renewable Energy Development. He says, “This project will help Morocco reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 million tonnes of CO2. This will help us play our role in mitigation of climate change.” He said again, “Clean energy projects such as this will create many new jobs in the areas selected for the solar plants as well as boost the country’s scientific expertise in the field of solar energy.”

Now the Arab countries are waking up to the reality of oil reserves. They too want to trap the power of alternative sources of energy. Algeria, Qatar, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Tunisia are all making fruitful efforts to utilize the power of sunlight. Israel is already using solar power successfully in many areas such as water heating systems. Israel is also earning reputation as a world leader in innovating solar energy solutions. Morocco might seek help of Israel on this ambitious project too.

The Energy Minister stressed that they will use the state-of-the-art technology available in the market. She says, “We look for the most sophisticated technology available in the world to use for this project.”

Ali Fassi Fihri is the Chairman of ONE, Morocco’s power utility. He shares his opinion, “The project would add in terms of power generation the equivalent of the current electricity consumption of the country’s commercial capital Casablanca.”

What do you think?

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  • Captain Mark

    Funny how we figure out how to make all this great energy saving stuff here in the US and then ship the jobs overseas. Why are all the mid eastern countries going solar and we still are so slow to take that “Free energy” Bull buy the horns? It wouldn’t hurt me not to have any power bills.

  • amoline

    It is estimated that the amount of sunlight that the earth receives in one hour could power the ENTIRE WORLD for up to a year! Now that is a lot of power. The sun has always been the earth’s primary source of energy throughout its existence. From creating the winds and nourishing plants, to today being a solution for our own energy needs. It is truly exciting seeing countries unlocking the potential of solar. This will be all too important to install, and advance technology in this realm as the whole world tries to progress into a new energy domain.

  • styke

    Nice to see them doing it. Oil saved is oil saved, no matter where it happens.

    In the US, environmental groups make it hard to convert large areas of desert into solar power plants. That is much less of an issue in Morocco.

  • Phil

    Captain Mark,

    The key thing here is Morocco does not have any oil. It does not have any vast global oil companies or coal conglomerates.

    The economic penalty for going renewable/solar is much less than that of the US. This means until big coal and oil have exhausted their billions of investment in oilfields, well heads, pipelines , shipping, refineries the US because of its depth of technical skills and finance will continue to innovate and export.

    Because Oil has installed infrastructure, it can open the spigots to reduce prices as and when renewables become competitive making it more difficult than it should be to introduce renewable technology. But it will happen.

    It ain’t pretty but that’s reality

  • Richard Fletcher

    I agree with the comments made by Amoline.

  • sunny

    Really its a nice approach to overcome the energy problems as well as climate change, but still there are lots of ifs and buts which the government would have to overcome.
    anyway it would be a great example of excellence in the field of renewable energy and a source of example for other oil starved nations and developing countries like India.

  • http://vankaas.blogspot.com van kaas

    Morocco illegally annexed 4/5 of Western Sahara and they have build a military berm of about 1500 mile in the deserted area to defend their theft. The Moroccan plan for solar power is a way to make western companies complicit. This is not about sustainability of the environment but of their occupation.

    The Western Sahara surely knows “green footprints” as these were left, together with millions of landmines, during the Green March, the Islamic inspired war against the original people of the land who are called the Saharawi.

    See also http://www.wsrw.org

  • Captain Mark

    I think my point was taken off to the left a bit. From the moment we wake up here in America we are using some power. That remote control you pick up ,where was that battery made? That solar panel? That was my point. We are only going to consume more power here and we need to manufacture ways of making as well as storing it here in the U.S.A. That is what EXXON and SHELL and those types are supposed to be working on energy, not just oil. As far as the mid-eastern peoples fighting with each other, they’ve been at it for so long that the only real reason for them to still be at it is to support arms dealers. Whomever was originally mad at each other had to have died by now.

  • do

    FREE means paradise for the masses but also means lack of control for those who need, despise, deceive and misguide the masses.

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