Morocco: 2,000 Megawatt Solar Energy by 2020
First PV Technology Conference- North Africa 2012: a success
North Africa and the Middle East could by 2025 belong to the leading solar markets due to the growing energy consumption, driven amongst other factors by a dynamic economic growth. This is why the North African region is becoming increasingly interesting. The high solar irradiance represents a further advantage. In order to make full use of the whole potential offered, some measures and improvements still need to be made: The PV Technology Conference – North Africa 2012 focused on these measures and on the actual framework in the field of photovoltaic in Northern Africa. The conference took place on September 10th in Casablanca for its first time. About 80 participants from several countries discussed and showed their big interest in the development of the North African region.
The conference, organized by the leading knowledge service provider Solarpraxis, was opened by Mohammed Yahya Zniber, General Secretary of the Ministry for Energy, Mining, Water and Environment; Saïd Mouline from the Moroccan National Agency of Renewable Energies Development and Energy Efficacy (ADEREE) told afterwards about Morocco´s vision for solar energy. 42 percent of energy supply should be covered by regenerative energies and a capacity of 2,000 Megawatt solar energy should be reached by 2020. This goal was also stressed by Ilias Hamdouch, from the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), who introduced the Morocco solar program. Unlike other countries, Morocco is not basing its business on feed-in tariffs, but on projects and programs coordinated by MASEN. The North African country does not see a decentralized energy supply as its core system, it focuses on parks, instead. The first large-scale project is currently being planned in Ouarzazate. Taoufik Laabi from The Moroccan National Electricity Authority (ONE) highlighted the importance of solar energy for his country, which is currently importing 97 percent of its electricity. Because of its proximity to the continent, Laabi sees Marocco as a net energy exporter to Europe in the future.
In addition to this comprehensive overview of the political framework and existing programs, the PV Technology Conference - North Africa 2012 gave insights into technology solutions for solar energy usage in arid climatic zones. One of the sessions moderated by Badr Ikken from the Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) focused on technologies and performance on a local base, while Pauline Desfontaines from Soitec Production talked about the advantages of concentrated photovoltaics (CVP) in Africa. Finally Marco Baraldo from TÜV Intercert illustrated additional module tests for desert regions.
Another crucial topic discussed during the conference was local content. Participants debated where firms can find skilled workers and high-quality components and what is needed for the set-up of an assembly line. Khaled Nasraoui, founder of Aurasol Enterprise in Tunisia, shared his experience about the matter. The last session block developed around project-designing and financing. Samior Belrhandoria from the Moroccan Infrastructure Fund told that private investors have great interest in entering the market. Solarpraxis is organizing their next conference in the MENA region on November 14th 2012. The Solar Industry Summit - Middle East 2012 is going to take place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
Judith Hübner, phone: +49 (0)30 / 726296-327, email: judith.huebner(at)solarpraxis.de