Washington- Morocco recently added another $100 million investment to its solar and wind power initiative. The most recent partnership with the UAE is part of a finance development project in Morocco worth over $5 billion in the next five years.
Morocco, “turning up the heat on renewable energy,” has seen considerable increases in the last decade due to advances in technology and Morocco’s lack of non-renewable energy resources.
The country’s reserve of conventional energy resources is insignificant and unsustainable, producing only 5,000 barrels a day. Thus over$8 billion per year is spent on oil imports to provide the remaining requirements of 235,000 barrels a day to the country from Algeria and the Gulf.
“With such modest fossil fuel resources and the burgeoning energy requirements of its 35 million people, Morocco decided to put greater effort into tapping its abundant solar and wind energy resources which are said to be among the best in Africa,” claims a report by Gulf News.
With projected solar power generation plans to reach 2,000MW countrywide by 2020, Morocco is approaching the matter via public and private sector partnerships. Morocco’s Renewable Energy Law is set up to promote foreign investment and facilitate as well as follow-up on implementation of renewable energy projects.
As for wind energy, the installed capacity in 2010 was 280MW and Morocco aims to reach 2,000MW by 2020. In the south near Tarfaya, Africa’s largest wind farm is set to open at the end of 2014 and would comprise 131 wind turbines with a total capacity of close to 300MW and costing $640 million. A senior minister commented recently: “Between the sites that are operational and those that are still under construction, we are reaching 1,000MW from wind power”, which would be a remarkable achievement.
Morocco’s potentiality for renewable energy shows in the progress that the energy sector has made in the past few years. The total power generation capacity in 2-12 was 6,620MW, and is increasing by over 6% each year. With over $13.5 billion in foreign and domestic investments over the next five years, Morocco’s renewable will seek to boost power generation by 4,585MW—renewable energy providing over 40% of this increase.
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