Solar/Wind Power and Green, Renewable Energy in Morocco

By Ian Teñido


Morocco Solar Plant
Aerial view of the solar plant of Ouarzazate, central Morocco, Thursday, Feb.4, 2016. Morocco unveils what’s billed as the world’s biggest solar plant, taking advantage of the Sahara sunshine and a growing push for renewable energy. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

The talk about climate change keeps a steady fluctuation depending on the on-off environmental conditions/disasters which face different parts of the world. To environmentalists, however, the talks and organizations never cease; neither do the environmental changes. A case in point is Morocco, a North African Country which is lighting the way for Africa on renewable energy. While on my Trip in this country late last year (Particularly Dakhla), I witnessed various viable green energy projects which did not only indicate the commitment of the Kingdom in creating a sustainable country but also the acceptance by the Moroccans that green energy is the way to go.

Putting the challenges of installing green energy in any given country aside, Morocco can serve as a better example for the rest of African countries in adopting green initiatives. In 2007, renewable energy represented only 0.4% of national energy balance. To this balance, renewable energy contributed 10% of electricity in the same year. In the recent past, however, the country has committed itself to ensure that the larger portion of its energy is derived from clean sources – solar, wind, and organic energies. Not only are they focusing on getting clean energy, but they also implement feasible regulations to ensure that the country’s environment supports retrieval of clean energy. Examples of green projects that the country has undertaken in the recent past include:

When it comes to the development of renewable energy Morocco has left its North African neighbours far behind. The planned wind farm project in Tarfaya will have a final capacity of 300 MW. (Photo: Office National de L’Electricite)

Morocco, naturally, does not have deposits of fossil fuels. This makes it rely on imports. However, it does not offer subsidies to petroleum products imported into the country. In addition, in 2015, King Mohammed VI committed the country to increase the country’s share of renewable electricity to 52% by 2030.  In most instances, the most attention has been on the development of massive infrastructure projects aimed at transforming the Kingdom’s energy mix from brown to green sources.

Wind energy accounts for nearly 800MW of the installed capacity, and with the investments in a consortium of Enel Green Power and Siemens construction of five new farms at different sites in the country, the country’s aim of having 14% of electricity from wind keeps getting real. Given that the country hosted the Cop22 in 2016, it shows its readiness for transformation towards a sustainable country with a cross-sectional focus on all matters pertaining to climate change and green energy. When Morocco achieves its target on clean energy, the achievement is shared by every other country on the planet by virtue of sharing the predicament of climate change and global warming. Now, if the entire African continent followed suit, the impact will even be greater. Come to think of it, what if each of the 195 countries in the world embraced such initiatives? The answer lies in analyzing the small impact Morocco is making on the global stage as regards to solar power and green energy.

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