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Morocco to Build One of the World's Largest Solar Plants With EU Fund

Nov 07, 2016 04:47 AM EST
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Morocco leads the construction of what seems to be one of the world's largest solar plants, a project largely funded by the European Union.

This marks a hard success for African nations, especially now that Africa is taking big leaps toward energy independence. However, the feat is not an easy thing to match despite its goal to combat the rising threat of climate change.

The new Noor plant is to be placed near the town of Ouarzazate. The gigantic plant will have curved mirrors totaling 1.5 million square meters (or 16 million square feet), as large as 200 soccer pitches. This will help capture the sun's heat in the form of solar power.

The huge 160MW plant is in huge contrast to the efforts of some nations to place small-scale rooftop panels to bring power in rural homes.

Morocco revealed this project quite recently among its contemporaries in the 200-nation-strong continent.

According to Gulf Times, Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) head Mustapha Bakkoury said this may be an inspiration to other nations to boost both economic growth and seek greener energies.

While the solar plant is not economically competitive with fossil fuels, it is a big step for Africa to implement new technologies for solar power.

The project also aims to get Morocco to have 52-percent of its energy consumption from clean energy by 2030. It's currently getting 28 percent of its power from renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

According to Fortune, the project itself will cost 2.2 billion Euros ($2.45 billion dollars) and generate 580MW. It will be enough power for a city of almost two million people. Morocco also plans to expand to other regions to 2GW of solar capacity by 2020, at the cost of $9cbillion.

However, Morocco is not the only African nation with aspirations for solar power dependence. For instance, in East Africa, M-KOPA Solar has installed over 400,000 tiny rooftop solar panel systems at about $200 on homes. This can provide power for light bulbs and radios.

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