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Published on October 30th, 2012 | by James Ayre


Desertec Project Continues Moving Forward, Moroccan Government Signs New Agreement with Desertec Foundation

October 30th, 2012 by  

The Desertec project continues to move forward, with the signing of a new memorandum of understanding between the Moroccan government and the Desertec Foundation. This new agreement strengthens the current plans to build a massive series of solar power plants in the northern part of Morocco which will supply power to Europe.


The agreement, signed by the Moroccan Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE), confirms that they will collaborate with the German-based foundation, sharing technical expertise and working to develop a policy framework for the groundbreaking project.

The new agreement is expected to help accelerate the development of the project. Once completed, the giant collection of solar power installations would provide clean energy both to their domestic markets and also to Europe via “high voltage direct current transmission lines.”

This will further reinforce “Morocco’s position as one of the leading renewable energy markets in Africa, building on the government’s commitment to generate over 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.”

The country have already started construction on one of the major components of the proposed Desertec network, the gigantic 500MW Ouarzazate concentrated solar power plant.

“Morocco is a not just a visionary in the region but also a successful pioneer in the global transition to renewables, where ADEREE plays a key role,” said director of the Desertec Foundation, Dr Thiemo Gropp, in a statement. “We are very happy to support their work in this context.”

This new agreement is a much needed boost to the project; the engineering giant Siemens recently confirmed that it was going to leave the group, as it had decided to sell its solar business. And there have been other reports suggesting that the Algerian government was postponing its final decision on its plans for the new Sonelgaz Desertec Renewable Energy Program until 2013 year.

Source: Business Green
Image Credits: Desertec via Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Ronald Brak

    Currently Morocco is a net importer of electricity from Europe. A large increase in Moroccan solar capacity should change that. As for exporting large amounts of net electricity to Europe, well, time will tell if that’s viable. But the cost of the transmission infrastructure means it may not be able to compete with European PV plus storage.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The existing line that brings power from Europe to Morocco can carry power back.

      It’s the perfect place to start the North Africa solar connection.

  • Bill_Woods

    “[Morocco has] already started construction on one of the major components of the proposed Desertec network, the gigantic 500MW Ouarzazate concentrated solar power plant.”

    Not yet, though they’ve arranged financing.

    … the country has awarded a US$1 billion solar project contract to a consortium led by the Saudi International Company for Water and Power (ACWA). The consortium, which will set up a 160 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, …
    … Construction on the plant, which will be located near the southern city of Ouarzazate, will begin before the end of 2012, and will take two years.

    The bids were evaluated on the basis of price per kilowatt/hour proposed, with the ACWA group offering US18c/kWh, some 27% less than the nearest competing bidder.


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