Morocco to Spend $9B on Solar Power for 40% of Energy by 2020
Morocco plans to use solar energy to produce 40% of the kingdom’s energy needs.
With no oil reserves and over 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, solar power is a viable source of energy for the modest needs of its population of 32 million—and it’s also environmentally friendly.
The change is said to reduce Morocco’s greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
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,” said Salaheddine Mezouar, the country’s finance minister. “Morocco is determined to protect the environment in all its future projects.
The Cost of Solar Power in Morocco
The North African country will spend $9 billion on 5 solar power stations that will generate 2 gigawatts (2,000 megawatts) of energy by 2020.
While the nearly 11-figure price tag will cost the country, they are getting financial assistance from the World Bank, the European Commission, Germany and Desertec, a 13-company coalition for renewable energy in Africa.
Morocco will also save money by no longer relying on foreign oil and gas imports as major energy sources.
The first solar power station is expected to be up and running by 2015. They will be located in the regions of Ain Bni Mathar, Boujdour, Foum Al Oued, Ouarzazate and Sebkha Tah.
Other Arab Countries Following in Morocco’s Green Footsteps
Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia are also trying to capitalize on sunlight to power their countries. It’s already being used in Israel for water heaters.
Politicians from Morocco may seek guidance from Israel on implementing solar power in their kingdom.