Morocco, like Denmark and other countries more closely associated with sustainability initiatives, has been investing heavily in renewable energy resources over the past few years. As things stand, Morocco is still heavily reliant on external sources of energy, and only meets 3% of its energy needs internally. Morocco plans to transition into a net exporter of renewable energy, rather than an importer of such energy. To meet his goal, Morocco has poured billions into both solar and wind energy projects throughout the country.
Notably, a World Bank funded solar energy development project for $519 million USD has recently gotten off the ground, and will contribute to the further greening of Morocco’s energy pie. At the time of its announcement, the World Bank released a statement claiming that the expanded solar plant will reduce carbon emissions by 700,000 tons per year. “Apart from creating jobs, the construction of the plant and the development of Morocco’s Solar Plan will establish a future source of reliable green energy,” said Simon Gray, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb. “The Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex alone will supply power to 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018.” In addition, ACWA Power, based in Saudi Arabia, has also recently launched significant wind power projects in Morocco, the first part of a series of planned investments.
Based on these recent initiatives involving sustainability, Morocco is widely considered to be the most ambitious player in the renewable energy space in North Africa. It plans to boost its renewable energy capacity to 42% by 2020. At that point, Morocco hopes to become an exporter of energy to European markets, as well. With extensive levels of planning and investment, both by Morocco and global energy players, it seems that Morocco is looking to redefine itself as an African hub for renewable energy.