05.02.2016

Solar power plant of superlative in operation

Solar panels in Morocco.

Close-up view of some rows of solar panels in Morocco. Photo: KfW-Bildarchiv / Jens Steingässer

On February 4, 2016 and in the presence of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the first out of four solar power plant projects successfully connected to the grid. "NOOR I" has a capacity of 160 megawatts and will generate electricity for 350,000 people. The construction of the first power plant of a larger complex near the city of Ouarzazate in the south of the country had already begun in June, 2013. Morocco is a pioneer in the development of renewable energy in the region: in 2020 more than 40 percent of electricity production is expected to be generated by wind and solar power.

IKI provided a subsidized loan of EUR 324 million via the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). Other international donors such as the European Union (EU) and the French Development Bank (AFD) are also involved in the financing of the power plant complex. For the upcoming years, Morocco together with international assistance schemes the construction of plants with a capacity of 580 megawatts, which will provide power for around 1.3 million people. In contrast to conventional power generation, the country can, once successfully implemented, avoid 800,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.