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Morocco look to reduce their Carbon Footprint - 18th November

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This year Morocco hosted the COP22 climate changes conference in Marrakech and they are now looking to show it Green Credentials and make this COP the “African COP”. Over the last 12 months Morocco has taken several steps to become Greener, they have banned the use of plastic bags, started a process to replace its fleet of old buses and taxis and also launched and initiative – the “adaption of African Agriculture” which will help the countries farmers adjust to climate change.

A lot of attention has been given to infrastructure projects in a plan to transform the countries energy mix. Morocco is a country that has no fossil fuel reserves and is virtually reliant on imports. In 2015 they committed to increasing its share in renewable generation to 52% by 2030, the equivalent of 10GW worth of installations. 14% of this is expected to come from solar installations with plans to install 2GW by 2020. They will also look to meet their targets by increasing their wind power and hydro power.

The cutting of greenhouse gases, particularly from the agricultural sector, will look to reduce the CO2 output by 401 megatonnes between 2020 and 2030. This will also include a commitment to planting 200,000 hectares of forest and increase irrigation. This commitment is however dependant on accessing climate financing.

Phase 1 of the Noor Solar complex near the desert town of Ouarzazate in the southern deserts of Morocco will produce 160MW and was opened by King Mohammed VI in February. Noor uses CSP (concentrated solar power) technology – giant mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays on to tubes containing liquid which is super-heated to drive turbines. This allows the storage of electricity for up to 3 hours after the sun has set. Noor two, currently under construction, will use the same technology, with the hope of storing electricity for seven hours. Noor Three however will use a new variant on the technology where the mirrors are directed at a central point.

It remains to be seen whether the costs of this technology will fall low enough to be globally commercially viable, and deliver cost-effective renewable power for consumers.

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