Morocco is showing the African continent a Renewable Energy pathway out of fossil fuel. Among the countries giving Morocco a good company are Egypt and South Africa, according to TAQA Net, a platform specialized in energy markets. Africa’s trailblazing growth in socio-economic sector has led several countries to further develop solar energy projects, especially at a time when the continent continues to make a leap forward in photovoltaic power generation capacities.
Morocco had a target of 37% of renewable capacity by 2020, which it missed, reaching only 20%. However, since then, the country has shown both greater intent and action, by first targeting a renewable share of 52% by 2030, made up up 20% solar, 20% wind, and 12% hydro power. Despite 65% of its power coming from thermal energy burning coal, the country has pledged to start zero new coal plants from2020, in a further sign of its resolve.
Endowed with abundant land, mountainous waterfalls and uninterrupted sunlight through the day, Africa has some of the largest clean energy plants in the world due to its potential in terms of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
According to the report, African countries are moving towards increased competition in the construction of the largest clean power plants to ensure access to electricity in deprived areas. According to a 2019 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), there are more than 770 million Africans who still lack access to renewable electricity.
The report also highlighted Morocco’s Ouarzazate Noor solar plant, a mega project that seeks to reinforce the country’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (SNDD). Morocco adopted the SNDD in 2017 to ensure its transition to a green and inclusive economy by 2030. The country launched the Noor solar program in 2009, with the objective of securing a minimum of 2,000 megawatts from solar facilities by 2020. The Ouarzazate complex currently has a capacity of 580 megawatts spread over four plants. With major solar projects in different cities, the North African country aims to produce more than 52% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
The larger plan behind the Noor project, to deliver or export solar power energy to UK through an undersea cable is still progressing towards closure, and if achieved, could be quite the game changer for the North African country.