Morocco faces two major energy issues: energy independence (the country is dependent on outside sources for 97% of its energy supply) and growing demand (6% to 8% annual increase in demand for electric energy since 1998). Solar power in Morocco is enabled by one of the highest rates of solar insolation of any country — about 3,000 hours per year of sunshine. Morocco has launched one of the world’s largest solar energy projects costing an estimated $9 billion. The aim of the project is to generate 2,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by the year 2020. Five solar power stations are to be constructed. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), a public-private venture, has been established to lead the project. The first plant will be commissioned in 2015, and the entire project in 2019. Once completed, the solar project will provide 18% of Morocco’s annual electricity generation.
Morocco, the only African country to have a power cable link to Europe, aims to benefit from the €400bn ($573.8bn) expected to come from the ambitious pan-continental Desertec Industrial Initiative.
Renewable energy plays a key role in ONE’s $3.4 billion energy development plan, announced in January 2004. The goal is to provide 80 percent of rural areas with electricity by 2008, while increasing the share of renewable energy from 0.24 percent in 2003 to 10 percent in 2011. In November 2009 Morocco announced a solar energy project worth $9 billion which officials said will account for 38 percent of the North African country’s installed power generation by 2020. The project will involve five solar power generation sites across Morocco and will produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020. The project would add in terms of power generation the equivalent of the current electricity consumption of the country’s commercial capital Casablanca.
MASEN is responsible for implementing the Solar Plan and has the lead role of organising the invitations to tender for the plants at each of the five sites. Moroccan plan for solar energy Complex at Ouarzazate. The Kingdom of Morocco’s solar plan, which will be one of the world’s largest solar energy projects, was introduced in November 2009 with the aim of establishing 2,000MW of solar power by 2020 (the Solar Plan). Five sites have been selected for the development of solar power plants, with the 500MW phase one solar power complex at Ouarzazate being the first to be developed (the Ouarzazate Programme).
Office National de l’Electricité (ONE) is responsible for organising IPP project tenders. ONE has a 25% shareholding in MASEN so it is likely that their expertise will be drawn.
Solairedirect is committed to producing a large-scale competitive KWh in Morocco by building on its experience in major energy projects while contributing to the implementation of an “integrated” business model. Solairedirect Maroc, headquartered in Casablanca, is now focusing on the development of solar farms and rooftop installations under the 13-09 law and the Moroccan Solar Plan (2 GW by 2019). The group aims to become the leading solar energy company in the country.
The Solar GCC Alliance is in the process of forming a Morocco affiliate, to be known as the Morocco Solar Industry Association (MSIA). This organization will seek to create new solar energy business and employment opportunities in Morocco, and enable collaboration opportunities throughout the GCC region. To get involved, email email@example.com for membership details.
MASEN 500MW Phase One Solar Power – Complex at Ouarzazate. The Kingdom of Morocco’s solar plan, which will be one of the world’s largest solar energy projects, was introduced in November 2009 with the aim of establishing 2,000MW of solar power by 2020 (the Solar Plan). Five siteshave been selected for the development of solar power plants, with the 500MW phase one solar power complex at Ouarzazate being the first to be developed (the Ouarzazate Programme)
Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power
The development objective of the Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project for Morocco is to support the Borrower (the Moroccan Solar Agency MASEN) in the development of the 500 Megawatt Ouarzazate solar power plant by financing the first phase (160 Megawatt gross) through a public private partnership (PPP), to increase power generation from solar power and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and local environment impact. There are two components of the project. The tender process for the first phase of the 500MW Ouarzazate site (150MW of Concentrated Solar Power with parabolic troughs) included a prequalification tender, issued in September 2010.
Moroccan plan for solar energy – Norton Rose Briefing
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