SAIREC, which is being hosted in South Africa from 4 - 8 October 2015, highlights the opportunities renewable energy can bring to the continent.
Morocco will be the host of the 2016 climate change conference, COP22

With plans to host the next climate change conference in 2016, COP22, Morocco has set the target of generating more than half of its power from renewable resources by 2030. This was said by the North African country’s energy minister, Abdelkader Amara at an event on Sunday in Paris.

The National Business reported that Morocco 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.

“Between now and [the next conference], many projects will have come to light and we will prove that we can match our energy demands with renewables,” said Amara.

Morocco’s renewable transition

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.

The country has four connected solar mega-plants, which once fully commissioned, is claimed to be the largest CSP plant in the world, generating 580MW of power, The Guardian reported.

Noor 1 is the first phase of the Moroccan Solar Energy Programme (NOOR), which received a loan of $109 million and $100 million from the African Development Bank in 2012.

According to the National Business, the North Africa country implemented a renewable energy law five years ago, which enabled private sector participation in power generation.

This law facilitated the trade of generated clean power directly from the IPP to the end consumer.

Attracting investment

The stable renewable policy framework is proving to be a sound environment for investment, with international financial institutions looking to get involved in the country’s renewable energy industry.

The National Business reported that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced last month that it would finance its first private renewable energy project in the country with the support of various other financial institutions.

The 120MW Khalladi wind farm has a total project cost estimated at $137 million for the construction, operation and maintenance.

Amara added: “Renewable energy needs to be embedded in our economies and it needs to be regulated within the framework of market economies without the need for subsidies.

“We need to convince people who are hesitating. Whether one is for or against, everyone agrees that renewable energy is the future.”