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MENA Solar Power Leaders Share Knowledge in Ouarzazate

Noor solar plant. Ouarzazate

By Julia Cabrera

Rabat Over 100 energy officials united at the world’s largest solar power plant in Ouarzazate for the World Bank’s launching of the “Middle East and North Africa Concentrated Solar Power Knowledge & Innovation Program” (MENA CSP KIP), designed to support MENA officials exploring the potential of concentrated solar power (CSP) as a sustainable source for their countries’ energy demands.

The World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund hosted the programs inauguration at the Noor-Ourzazate I, II and III site to share the lessons on development, technology and financing learned by Moroccan officials from their CSP program. They will also draw from the lessons of other CSP projects around the world.

MENA CSP KIP will provide information on CSP investment decisions in the MENA region, where the best solar energy resources are available.

In the fight to clean energy, CSP is intended to meet global goals for clean, secure and affordable energy. According to a press release by the public relations distributor, MILTECH, (Military Technologies), CSP uses thermal storage to continue providing energy even after sundown, making it as reliable as fossil fuel energy.

The program’s first workshop, on “Concentrated Solar Power Markets, System Value & Financing”, was the first of a series of conferences that will be held through 2019.

The workshop gave regional energy agencies from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, along with representatives of leading international finance institutions, an opportunity to voice questions and concerns regarding their prospective CSP projects.

In the press release prior to the workshop, Jonathan E. Sinton, Senior Energy Specialist of the World Bank Group, said “This [workshop] will help to ensure that future events and activities of this new, innovative World Bank program are tailored to meet specific regional needs.”

For 2017, the program aims to create an assistance facility which will provide quick support on specific issues, web-based information platforms and newsletters, technical support, in-person knowledge-exchange events and program training.

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