Could Morocco save Europe from energy crisis?


Morocco has made noticeable progress in its mission to produce more renewable energy. Its huge Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex, which opened in  2016, is now the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant.

Facilities such as these use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto central tower “receivers”. These towers contain fluid that heats up from the light, creating steam that then spins turbines to generate electricity.

Moroccan energy entrepreneur Moundir Zniber says that Morocco represents the best opportunity to get the European continent away from the dependency it has today on Russian gas. Having spent over 15 years developing his company Gaia Energy into one of the lead producers of renewable energy in his home country, Mr Zniber says that private Moroccan firms like his are now planning to export solar and wind-generated electricity to Europe, along with green hydrogen – hydrogen that has been created by renewable energy.

Zniber calculates that Gaia Energy could meet up to 4% of Germany and Italy’s electricity needs.

Meanwhile, British energy start-up Xlinks has plans to build an undersea electricity cable from Morocco to the UK. Its hope is that Moroccan solar and wind power can provide 8% of the UK’s electricity requirements by 2030.

Although some concerns have been raised as to whether Morocco should be exporting energy before it meets its own countries renewable energy needs, Moez Cherif, World Bank, thinks that Morocco should increase exports of renewable power, while also adding more for domestic consumption. He confirms, “Ideally you should do both.”

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Editor, International Trade Magazine
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