Morocco aims 25% renewable energy by 2020

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Photo - BrightSource Energy

Morocco’s minister of Mines, Energy, Water and Environment, Fouad Douri, announced the government has set the target of seeking 25% of the country’s energy needs from renewable resources like wind and sun by 2020, Brazil-Arab News Agency reported. The North African nation updated its ambitious target from 15% which was set around three years ago.

“This is economically important and fundamental for society, and it is this form of energy we want for the future,” Douri said after participating in a seminar titled “Green Energy in Morocco” which was held on the sidelines of Rio+20.

Rabat has kick started at least five new projects for wind farms which would produce 850 megawatts of energy.

A city with around 1.3 million inhabitants demands, on average, 230 MW for its energy needs. By 2020, the country plans to be generating 2,000 MW of wind energy. Morocco is establishing solar energy farms in its Saharan desert areas, to tap into hours of sunshine.

In July 2011, the French Development Agency (AFD) granted €100 million to the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency to start implementing the plan for generating another 2,000 MW of renewable energy from 2020. Morocco already has a thermo-solar plant, which generates energy from natural gas and solar panels, in Ain Bni Mathar near the Algerian border. Around 20% of the energy plant’s 420 MW is produced through solar panels.

Apart from investing in alternative energy, Morocco has expanded the rural population’s access to electricity as well as participation of the society in talks regarding environmental projects. The country also made changes to the constitution to facilitate access to financing sources.

Morocco is a big importer of oil and gas and aims to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons in upcoming years. The government is taking active measures to make the economy less susceptible to commodity price variations and shield from political instability related to inflation and energy price hikes.

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