Morocco – A Role Model in Using Renewable to Control Climate Change

Photovoltaic Micro-plants by Isofoton, Morocco. Credit: Isofoton

Photovoltaic Micro-plants by Isofoton, Morocco. Credit: Isofoton

Renewable energy usage in Morocco is increasing in geometric progression. Morocco In the year 2007 had less than 10% of its electricity production coming from renewables, currently, has risen to 20% and it targets itself at 40% by 2020 and 50% plus by 2030. These ambitious targets are set despite the fact that, as of to date the country is heavily dependent on import of energy from neighbours. As per World Bank report it was importing 90% of its energy need in 2013. But to achieve its targets the country even altered its constitution to include sustainable development, it stopped subsidizing fossil fuels so as to make renewables more competitive and welcomed private investments in the clean energy sector.

In the year 2014 the largest wind farm in Africa, with an investment of $1.4 billion, near Tarfaya city went operational in Morocco. In the year 2016, it switched on the world’s largest concentrated solar plant, Noor-1, on the border of the Sahara Desert near Ouarzazate. Noor-1 when fully goes operational in the year 2018 it will have the capacity to light up one million homes thus making Morocco a solar superpower in Africa. The concentrating solar power (CSP) are always more expensive to install than the photovoltaic panels, but the advantage with these type of plants is that it enables the storage of energy for nights and even on cloudy days. With this gigantic plant operational it will reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year, according to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) finance group.

Morocco is targeting not only to have more and more renewable energy but at the same time concentrating on highly energy efficient, thus helping to reduce climate change. As per the year 2016 Climate Change Performance Index, Morocco ranks seventh in the world and the important fact is that it is the only non-European country in the top 20. Another feather in its cap is, Morocco is one of the only five countries to have achieved a “sufficient” rating for its efforts to keep warming below 2°C in the Climate Action Tracker. (In the Climate Action Tracker, no country in the world has achieved the “role model” rating as of now, so “sufficient” is currently the best grade).

Another main advantage Morocco will achieve is the reduction in import bills. It doesn’t have any fossil fuel reserves hence it relies on import only. But at the same time due to its geographical location, it is blessed with abundant wind and solar energy. Thus, increased renewable will boost its economy too.

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