New York - Morocco is making strides in its transition to a greener more ecological, environmentally safer and sustainable country.
New York – Morocco is making strides in its transition to a greener more ecological, environmentally safer and sustainable country.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and his government have gone to great lengths to make the North African country a leader in sustainable development.
According to the report “Green Growth: Putting Morocco in The Lead Against Climate Change” by the World Bank Group published in its website, Moroccans have been committed to green growth since 2011.
In present times when many countries’ economies exhaust their natural resources and face constraints worsened by the imminent climate change, “Morocco is setting an example by designing and embracing green growth strategies across sectors,” the report noted.
“The right to sustainable development does not mean protecting the environment at the expense of the economy. It means being wise enough to find a balance between economic development, social mobility, and the protection of resources – so that there are enough resources to last our children and our grand-children,” Hakima El-Haite, Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment for Morocco said.
According to the same source, the Moroccan government has put forward policies and measures that reflect ins environmental commitment in the eyes of the international community.
The most noteworthy area of policy change has been the “phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies” since 2012. The initiative forced SMEs and large industries to generate power by using production by-waste products and waste.
According to Said Mouline, Head of the national agency for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the private sector enterprises generate about 500 MW of wind energy.
“All this activity would not have happened without the end of subsidies,” Mouline said adding that “There is no green economy without regulation.”
The same source revealed that Morocco’s green efforts are also evident on agriculture, which employs 40 percent of the Moroccan workforce.
With its “Plan Maroc Vert” (“Green Morocco Plan”), the agriculture sector promotes the development of intelligent and sustainable practices introducing careful use of water, such as “direct seeding” and “drip irrigation.”
Furthermore, one of the largest country’s commitment to sustainable development, is the Noor-Ouarzazate, one of the largest concentrated solar power plants in the world.
The projects NOOR II and III are two solar centers using concentrated solar technology (CSP), which “allows to store energy for nights and cloudy days,” to produce respectively 200 MW and 150 MW.
The Noor Project’s goal is to produce 2 GW of solar energy, which is equal to 14 percent of Morocco’s production capacity by 2020.
Considered the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant, the Noor is expected to produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccans, “with possibly extra power to export to Europe,” according to the World Bank.
The Noor Project has gained international media coverage, placing Morocco as a global “solar superpower.”
“There is a very strategic way in Morocco of diversifying energy sources focused in contributing to a green growth plan and become a model for Africa by 2020,” energy specialist, Roger Coma-Cunill told the same source.
“Morocco seeks to be a gateway to Africa – that’s part of this endeavor,” he added.
Before the Noor plant in Ouarzazate, Morocco imported 97 percent of its energy. By 2030, Morocco aims to produce about 52 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy.