Morocco is set to become one of the first African countries to run on 100 percent green or renewable energy. According to the Morocco World News, a study carried out by a team of researchers from Stanford University shows that Morocco could go completely green by the year 2050.The research studied the energy prospects of 139 different countries with the aim of developing a feasible and hypothetical green energy scenario for each nation.
Lead researcher Mark Jacobson, who developed a computer model which relates climate change to air pollution, says the data analysis reveals that an optimal energy portfolio for Morocco would be composed of 65.6 percent solar energy, 29.7 percent offshore and onshore wind energy, 2.5 percent hydroelectric power, and an additional 2.1 percent from marine energy.
Morocco is one of the few countries in Africa taking the global lead in the green energy revolution. The North African nation is currently home to the world’s biggest solar energy complex, the Noor 1 power station, which is located in the desert city of Ouarzazate.
The plant, which opened in February 2016 and cost $3.9 billion to construct, is able to produce electricity into the night by storing solar energy in the form of heated molten salt. Upon completion, the entire Solar Project is expected to cost about $9 billion and produce an estimated 580 Megawatts (MW) of electricity per day.
The National Energy Strategy, which is a blueprint for the country’s future energy investments, also calls for the development of additional renewable energy sources including wind energy, hydroelectric power, and the installation of four new solar facilities in Beni Mathar, Foum El Oued, Boujdour, and Tah Sebkhat.
According to the plan, Morocco is set to generate an estimated 2000 MW of electricity from the combination of those renewable energy sources by the year 2020, with wind power contributing an estimated 14 percent of the total amount. The strategy then anticipates the country to generate 52 percent of the nation’s entire energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.
Unlike most of its neighbours in North Africa, Morocco is not blessed with viable crude oil deposits, forcing the country to look inwards for sustainable income generation, which has allowed tourism and agriculture to become major sources of government revenue.