The North African country has an ambitious plan to supply 52 percent of its total power generation from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Morocco's vast lands across the Sahara desert covering much of North Africa are proving advantageous for the country's clean energy push. 

The country has centered its solar energy plants in its hot deserts where sunshine is abundant. The Moroccan state’s energy planners have been building large fleets of solar panels in the country since the mid-2000s. 

Last year, the country was able to supply 37 percent of the country’s energy from renewable energy sources. They are harnessing much of this energy from solar and wind power plants. Although it missed the 2020 target of producing 42 percent of energy, it has made significant progress in becoming self-reliant and transitioning from fossil fuel to clean energy. 

Morocco has taken advantage of the country’s Sahara sunshine and a growing global push for renewable energy, building solar panels across the North African state.
Morocco has taken advantage of the country’s Sahara sunshine and a growing global push for renewable energy, building solar panels across the North African state. (Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP Archive)

The country aims to produce 52 percent of energy through renewable means by 2030. According to the country’s plan, solar and wind power will cover 40 percent of it while hydro energy will cover 12 percent to help Morocco reach its 10-year energy goals. 

Morocco's Amogdoul Wind Farm operates in Essaouira, a city in the western part of the country on the Atlantic coast.
Morocco's Amogdoul Wind Farm operates in Essaouira, a city in the western part of the country on the Atlantic coast. (Wikipedia Commons)

While the country needs to allow and support individuals and companies to develop small-scale projects to supply their energy demands, observers could see solar panels in different places across Morocco, from roofs of mosques to rooftops of old-fashioned tents in villages.   

From urban centers to rural areas, Morocco has successfully utilised solar power to meet the country’s energy needs.
From urban centers to rural areas, Morocco has successfully utilised solar power to meet the country’s energy needs. (Reglobal)
Mosques have also benefited from solar energy. Morocco’s historic Koutoubia Mosque, which is the largest in Marrakesh, is among them.
Mosques have also benefited from solar energy. Morocco’s historic Koutoubia Mosque, which is the largest in Marrakesh, is among them. (Deutsche Welle)

In the Ouarzazate province, which is also called the door of the desert due to its closeness to the Sahara desert, Morocco built the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, the Noor-Ouarzazate complex

Noor I solar power plant will use parabolic mirrors to catch the sun's rays to heat a salt solution and drive steam turbines to create power. The picture shows part of the facility.
Noor I solar power plant will use parabolic mirrors to catch the sun's rays to heat a salt solution and drive steam turbines to create power. The picture shows part of the facility. (Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP Archive)

Rabat’s renewable energy focus elicits a lot of praise from climate change advocates, who urge world leaders to move to clean energy sources from fossil fuels. As a result, in 2018 and 2019, Morocco became the eighth biggest recipient of climate finance from the world’s richest countries. 

Morocco utilises not only solar power but also wind energy to supply its energy needs. King Mohammed VI inaugurated one of the wind energy farms in Tangiers, northern Morocco in 2010.
Morocco utilises not only solar power but also wind energy to supply its energy needs. King Mohammed VI inaugurated one of the wind energy farms in Tangiers, northern Morocco in 2010. (Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP Archive)
One of Morocco’s latest solar power projects is the Noor Midelt I, which is located near the town of Midelt. The project was won by a parabolic trough-PV proposal at a record-low price. It is due online by 2022.
One of Morocco’s latest solar power projects is the Noor Midelt I, which is located near the town of Midelt. The project was won by a parabolic trough-PV proposal at a record-low price. It is due online by 2022. (Reuters Archive)
Source: TRT World