Morocco continues to exploit potential of solar and renewable energies.
Oct 26, 2015 Prior to now, Morocco has been known for its huge energy importation. That apparently is about to change as the North African country is stepping up its efforts in developing renewable energy.
As part of a wider project, Morocco is wooing foreign investors to fund a $9 billion solar power project in its southern city of Ouarzazate. The project is aimed at turning the desert’s sun into lucrative power exports to Europe.
The solar project, which is expected to produce a total of 2,000 megawatts, will include five plants, two of which will be planned in Western Sahara.
To finance its ambitious project, the Moroccan government has secured significant loans from the World Bank, German state-owned bank KFW, the African Development Bank, the European Commission and European Investment Bank.
Morocco, which has no hydrocarbons reserves, hopes the renewable energy project will reduce its reliance on fossil fuel imports and effectively cancel out its huge energy import bills.
Mokhtar Khalif, a Moroccan farmer who uses photovoltaic solar panels to pump water, said solar energy has greatly reduced his electricity bill.
“Though the south of Morocco is famous for its boiling sunshine, we never used to take advantage of its rays, But today, things have changed. In the past I used to pay a high bill for my electricity, but I now make use of the solar energy. Not only my expenses have been reduced but I also have plenty of water now,”
To help ordinary citizens understand the idea of solar energy, Mehdi Aalaoui Mdaghri and Patrick Bauer recently hosted the Morocco Solar Festival.
Commenting on the festivals, co-founder Mehdi Aalaoui Mdaghri said:
“The sun and the sea are both great wealth in Morocco. It is a country with an extraordinary amount of sunshine and Ouarzazate is becoming a focal point for everything to do with sustainable development and solar energy with the building of the Noor complex. We contribute to it as a cultural actor by organizing cultural and artistic activities. Children take part in the workshops organized by the Arcane Foundation. The festival has also an important technological aspect,”
The three-day festival culminated with a special treat, as the Opera de Paris performed a concert of classical music in the open air.