Morocco recently made history when it opened the first phase of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant that has a 500 megawatts installed capacity to serve over 1.2million Moroccans.
It is Morocco’s first utility solar energy complex and a critical step in the Moroccan Solar Energy Programme, which aims to install 2 GW of solar power by 2020.
The project, which is inspiring other African countries, to turn to solar in the midst of difficulties in power generation, underlines the country’s determination to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, turn to increased use of renewable energy and move towards a low carbon development strategy.
The project is a public private partnership being implemented by the Morocco Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and Sener of Spain acting as the technical partners.
Following the successful inauguration of the first phase of the 3.9billion dollar Noor Quarzazate solar power complex, which has placed Morocco on the global map as solar superpower, other African countries, including Ghana, have begun collaborating with Morocco in that regard to draw lessons from the project.
Last year, Ghanaian government and business delegation, led by Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh, that visited Morocco discussed various partnership deals including a collaboration in solar energy.
A return delegation from Morocco including the management of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy and Moroccan investors, would soon visit Ghana to firm up collaborative deals in the energy sector and strike new partnership deals in other sectors such as housing, tourism, education, health, agriculture and trade.
Ghana’s collaboration with Morocco in the energy sector is expected to enhance efforts by the government to diversify Ghana’s power generation mix, following inadequacies in the reliance on hydro and thermal energy that led to intense power crisis that was recently solved.
In the midst of the energy crisis, the government launched a national solar project aimed at getting thousands of households to mount solar panels on roofing to reduce their reliance on the traditional fossil energy sources.
Mrs Nezha Alaoui M’hammdi, Moroccan Ambassador to Ghana, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra, confirmed the planned visit by the Moroccan delegation to Ghana.
She noted that considering the difficulties in the use of fossil energy with its attendant environmental effects, “it is evident we have to rely more on renewable energy”.
The Ambassador reiterated Morocco’s preparedness to cooperate more with other African countries in the spirit of south-south cooperation and regional integration, indicating that the solar power industry was a major platform that African countries could work on.
By Edmund Mingle