Mr. Ikken and Dr. Grunow sign the cooperation agreement at the the COP22 in Morocco. Source: PI Berlin
Mr. Ikken and Dr. Grunow sign the cooperation agreement at the the COP22 in Morocco. Source: PI Berlin

On Monday, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Photovoltaik Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) and the l’Institut de Recherche en Energie Solaire et Energies Nouvelles (IRESEN) at the COP 22 climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

PI Berlin to help drive PV projects

The agreement will pool together the engineering expertise of the two institutes to provide technical consulting services for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Morocco.

Present at the signing was Dr Paul Grunow, Co-founder and Board Member of the Photovoltaik Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) and Mr Badr Ikken, General Director of l’Institut de Recherche en Energie Solaire et Energies Nouvelles (IRESEN).

Ikken said: “After having successfully initiated several projects aiming to develop local solar systems and their components, we are very pleased to develop closer ties with PI Berlin to consolidate their expertise in technical consulting services for solar PV projects in Morocco and Africa.”

PI Berlin said in a statement that: “PV technology is a clear choice for renewable energy projects and strategies. Among all suitable locations for photovoltaic power plants, Morocco is considered to be one of the most attractive places.

“The solar radiation abundance ensures the project profitability and offers a rapid return on investment. Coupled with the sharp drop in PV prices, this situation has made competition a lot more intense.”

Morocco has set the target of generating more than half of its power from renewable resources by 2030 adding that it will increase its renewable energy target from 42% by 2020 to 52% by 2030. The 42% will comprise of 2 gigawatts each of solar, wind and hydropower.

This ambitious target was set prior to the COP21 climate summit in Paris last year.

Over the past few years, Morocco has continued to drive and stimulate investment in the renewable energy industry. The country recently announced that it is gearing up for the first phase of its Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, Noor 1, which was to come online last month and generate 160MW.

PV a suitable choice

According to PI Berlin, “the developers, EPCs, suppliers and operators are obliged to guarantee not only the best performance of the PV plants but also to perform at a very competitive cost for their investors and lenders. In order to deliver such successful projects, PI Berlin has decided to join forces with IRESEN to support the knowledge development of the various local players in Morocco and across Africa.

“The cooperation will concentrate primarily on the evaluation, verification, testing and consultation required for the solar projects from the conceptual phase, through construction and during operation.”

The Germany-based PV institute added that the partnership will also allow for the providing of services in the areas of knowledge transfer and capacity building across the African continent in order to grow the technical expertise required for the lifecycle of PV plants.

Grunow said: “We are very excited to have found such a well-established partner in Morocco to expand the reach of PI Berlin’s services and experience in the MENA region and across Africa.”