Morocco unveils huge solar plant on Sahara

OUARZAZATE, Morocco -- Morocco's King Mohammed VI unveiled one of the world's biggest solar plants Thursday, taking advantage of the Sahara sunshine and a growing global push for renewable energy.

See Full Article

The $3.9-billion project in the southern town of Ouarzazate, also known as Noor I, is the first phase of a project expected to provide 1.2 million Moroccans with power. Row after row of solar panels glisten in the sunlight, surrounding a power station in the centre.

Climate Investment Funds, a global agency investing $435 million in the project, said it will be the world's biggest concentrated solar plant, meaning that it will store power to generate when the sun isn't shining. It said Morocco was chosen for the project in part because of its political stability, and because the government created a solar energy agency and introduced measures in 2012 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

"Morocco was more advanced in terms of the regulatory framework and having the building blocks in place, whereas Tunisia and Egypt went through the Arab Spring," said Mafalda Duarte, manager of the fund.

While other countries have seen democratic uprisings in recent years, Morocco's leadership quelled protests with some reforms to avert upheaval. "The king and the government have sustained their leadership role," she said.

Hakima El Haite, junior minister for Environment, said: "This project allows a number of countries to see there's hope for countries who are not rich in petroleum." El Haite referred to the recent climate conference in Paris, but noted the solar project began well before the meeting. Citing Morocco's heavy external energy dependence, "this will give Morocco its autonomy," El Haite said.

While the project is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, environmental activists are concerned that it will require water from the nearby Mansour Eddahbi dam for cooling, at a time of ongoing drought.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Archeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TUNA AL-GABAL, Egypt -- Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced on Saturday the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo, the latest discovery in an area known to house ancient catacombs from the Pharaonic Late Period and the Ptolemaic dynasty. Source
  • Canadian space program scientists hoping for lift off in federal budget

    Tech & Science CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canada's space research community is optimistic they will receive a boost in the federal budget set to land Tuesday. Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has already signalled that a "key element" to Tuesday's budget will be major investments to basic scientific research across the country and Canada's astronomers and space engineers would like to see a slice of that money. Source
  • Saskatoon man develops largest 3D-printed camper van

    Tech & Science CTV News
    He’s been planning it for the past two years, but Randy Janes of Saskatoon finally has the camper van of his dreams. Janes developed a 3D-printed camper van in what has been billed as not only the world’s largest 3D-printed camper van, but also one of the largest indoor 3D-printed objects ever. Source
  • Saskatoon man develops largest 3D-printed camper

    Tech & Science CTV News
    He’s been planning it for the past two years, but Randy Janes of Saskatoon finally has the camper of his dreams. Janes developed a 3D-printed camper in what has been billed as not only the world’s largest 3D-printed camper, but also one of the largest indoor 3D-printed objects ever. Source
  • Artificial intelligence shows unprecedented detail in global fishing activities

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Researchers are learning more than ever before about the effects humans are having on global fish stocks. It's all thanks to a website — funded in part by actor Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation — that tracks ships and uses a type of artificial intelligence to figure out incredible detail in worldwide fishing patterns. Source
  • Why A.I. companies are paying random strangers to take videos of themselves doing mundane tasks

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeWhy demolishing its Olympic stadium might be South Korea's best moveShe was a 'catalyst for change': The life and death of Tina Fontaine'They're trolling the trolls back': How Parkland survivors are responding to conspiracy theoristsKazakhstan gets a new alphabet — again 'Hell on Earth:' What the assault on eastern Ghouta says about Syria's futureWhy A.I. Source
  • 'Tiny trash' a big problem for Canada's shorelines

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Small pieces of plastic and foam topped a list of types of litter found along Canada's shorelines last year, beating out the previous year's winner — cigarette butts. That's because this is the first year The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation effort between the non-profit group Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, have counted the pieces of what the groups call "tiny trash. Source
  • How many new drugs rely on government-funded science? All of them

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here. Source
  • Police sketch created with DNA technology is potentially useless or even misleading, says scientist

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Calgary police hired a U.S. biotech company to create a picture of a woman using only her DNA, but a scientist says the evidence behind the technology to create the image simply isn't there. Source
  • Neanderthals, not humans, created these cave paintings in Spain

    Tech & Science CBC News
    From the murky depths of Spanish caves comes a surprising insight: Neanderthals created art. That's been proposed before, but experts say two new studies finally give convincing evidence that our evolutionary cousins had the brainpower to make artistic works and use symbols. Source