Morocco has certainly ‘up the ante’ in recent times in its efforts to progress forward with its aim to improve its national grid efficiency and generate 42% of its domestic demand for energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The solar energy project announced recently in May 2013 is part of a larger project to construct five solar power plants near Ouarzazate at a total cost of over 6 billion Euros (!!) which will be operational between 2015 to 2019. The first phase which will generate a capacity of 160MW is expected to complete in 2014 and become operational by 2015. Other sites identified for the remaining four solar power plants include Beni Mathar, Foum al Ouad, Boujdour and Sebkhat Tah. Expressions of interest are currently underway for the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of these planned solar power stations.
Also making recent headlines is that Morocco will house one of Africa’s largest wind farm in the Tarfaya region, which is targeted to open in 2014. Construction commenced in December 2012 and is led by a French company, GDF Suez in partnership with a local company Nareva Holding. This wind farm is said to produce 300MW energy when completed with a total project cost of approximately 500 million Euros. If all goes well, it is reported that by December 2014, we could see about 131 wind turbines standing tall at 80 metres (260 feet) all along the desert landscape in that region – not something you see every day.
Some might ask would this be a “sight for sore eyes” for travellers to Morocco? How will this impact the Moroccan tourism? Well, we personally think, it could just encourage more international travelers to this wonderful country which is certainly playing its part in becoming a more environmental friendly country. Something all Moroccans can be proud of.
As Morocco progresses in the right direction to achieve its long term objectives to be self-reliant in meeting its own rising demand for energy, it may just one day become an exporter of energy other countries in the near future! Only exciting times ahead for this Kingdom.