Monday, November 07, 2016

Vast Moroccan Solar Power Plant Is Hard Act for Africa to Follow

Workers build a thermosolar power plant at Noor II near the city of Ouarzazate, Morocco, November 4, 2016. (Credit: Reuters/Youssef Boudlal) Click to Enlarge.
On the edge of the Sahara desert, Morocco is building one of the world's biggest solar power plants in a project largely funded by the European Union.

It is a hard success for other African nations to match as they seek to implement a new global deal to combat climate change.

The huge 160-megawatt first phase of the Noor plant near the town of Ouarzazate contrasts with efforts by some other nations focused on tiny roof-top solar panels to bring power to remote rural homes.

At Noor curved mirrors totaling 1.5 million square meters (16 million square feet) - the size of about 200 soccer pitches - capture the sun's heat in the reddish desert.

Morocco is showcasing Noor before talks among almost 200 nations in Marrakesh about implementing a global deal to combat climate change that entered into force on Nov. 4 - a day when the Saharan sky was unusually overcast with spots of rain.

"We hope we can be an inspiration," Mustapha Bakkoury, head of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), told Reuters.  Many African nations are pushing to boost economic growth to end poverty, while seeking greener energies.

The gleaming concentrated solar power plant is not economically competitive with cheaper fossil fuels, but is a step to develop new technologies as prices for solar power fall sharply.

Read more at Vast Moroccan Solar Power Plant Is Hard Act for Africa to Follow

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