x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Morocco's push to develop renewable power

Morocco's latest advance in a drive for renewable energies is winning it recognition as a regional leader in the field.

RABAT // Last Monday near Tangiers, Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated 165 wind turbines the government is touting as Africa's largest wind farm, the state news agency says. The installation is Morocco's latest advance in a drive for renewable energies that is winning it recognition as a regional leader in the field. The government intends for renewable energy to account for 42 per cent of the country's installed electricity generation by 2020.

Morocco is the only North African country without oil. It imports much of its energy and is eager to develop its own renewable energy sources. Last November, it unveiled a US$9 billion (Dh33.05bn) solar energy project to produce 2,000 megawatts, or 38 per cent of its power, by 2020. The wind farm inaugurated last week is the first of five planned to increase wind energy from about 280mw to 2,000mw, also by 2020.

In January, the government launched two renewable-energy agencies: one to oversee solar power plants, the other to promote scientific research and international co-operation. The country has also embraced Desertec, a plan to export solar and wind energy from MENA region countries to Europe. Morocco currently has a licence to sell electricity to Spain, and in 2007 doubled the capacity of its connection to that country to 400mw.

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