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.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Forest tours offered in Chinese to promote conservation in B.C.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Conservationists have their eyes on a demographic that hasn't been tapped into before in terms of educating people about British Columbia's old growth forests. About half a million people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland are Chinese-language speakers, yet most environmental programs and tours are offered in English only, said Ken Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance. Source
  • U.S. presidential election uses hodge-podge of voting technology

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When Americans go the polls on Nov. 8, they'll be casting votes using a wide array of technology, from touchscreens to pen and paper. In light of Donald Trump's claims of election fraud — and with the memory of the disputed presidential election of 2000 still looming — that technology could be under more scrutiny than ever in this year's presidential election. Source
  • Attacks that disrupted Twitter, Paypal, Spotify were just a dry run, hackers say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across North America and Europe such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal. Source
  • Attacks on the internet getting bigger and nastier

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. Source
  • Glenn Greenwald weighs in on WikiLeaks data dump on Clinton

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Two people at the heart of the most earth-shattering leaks of stolen data in the past few years are at odds about how those troves of documents should be handled in public. "You'd have to be a sociopath to think that we ought to just take all of this material and dump it all on the internet without regard to the impact that it will have for innocent people," says Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first reported on the massive document leak provided to him by former U.S. Source
  • Alberta to spend more to cut methane emissions

    Tech & Science CTV News
    EDMONTON - Alberta plans to spend more money to cut methane emissions. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says another $33 million will be added to the $7 million already pledged to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas by 45 per cent by 2025. Source
  • 'Red Dead Redemption 2' - 3 ways it could fail [Photos]

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    Saddle up, pardner. It looks like we’re going back to the Wild West. Rockstar Games, the video game empire behind the juggernaut Grand Theft Auto series, set the Internet on fire this week by releasing mysterious images that suggest – nay, outright declare – another game in the Red Dead series is on its way. Source
  • Cyberattacks disrupt Twitter, Netflix, PlayStation Network, others

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Cyberattacks on a key Internet firm repeatedly disrupted the availability of popular websites across the United States on Friday, according to analysts and company officials. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America, Canada and even in Europe. Source
  • Russian indicted on charges he hacked LinkedIn

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies, federal prosecutors announced Friday. A grand jury indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, of Moscow, Russia, on Thursday on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Source
  • Why it's so hard to land on Mars: Bob McDonald

    Tech & Science CBC News
    It looks more and more like the Schiaparelli lander crashed on Mars this week, a huge disappointment for the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. But the incident is only the last in a long history of robot missions to Mars, where almost 60 per cent have failed for one reason or another. Source