Morocco is taking strides to decrease its dependency on fossil fuels and join the list of the world's leading renewable energy providers. By 2018, Moroccos plans to supply over 1.1 million citizens with green energy by creating the world's largest concentrated solar power plant in the city of Ouarzazte. Obviously, we believe localised generation makes even more sense, but it's great to see countries all over the world join the coalition to make our planet green. Here's an excerpt:
The Ouarzazte Noor complex will rely on an original technology known as Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). While this advanced technology is more expensive than the regular photovoltaic panels used elsewhere, it allows energy to be stored, hence providing energy all year long, even during the night and cloudy weather.
The Concentrating Solar Power Plant utilizes mirrors to focus sun light and heat up an internal liquid. The heated liquid is then mixed with water, and reaches a temperature of 400 degrees Celsius. This in turn, produces steam that drives the turbine to generate electrical power.
The Noor complex is expected to generate 160 megawatts of electricity, and has the ability to store solar energy for three hours after the sun sets. It is expected that this project will reduce Carbon emissions by 700,000 tons per year.
The size of the project and the mirror technology required a $9 billion investment which was provided from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and other international institutions.
What does that mean for Morocco’s economy?
Ouarzazte’s Solar Power Plant is not only a significant development in Morocco for sustainable development practices, but also has the potential to reap great economic benefits for the Kingdom and its citizens.
In the short and medium terms, this energy project will provide employment and will help ease Morocco’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels and energy imports. In the long-term, it could transform Morocco from an energy-importing to an energy-exporting country.