Imported fossil fuels currently provide for 97% of Morocco’s energy need, the World Bank says
. As a result the country is keen to diversify and start using renewable energy.
This goal was one of the reasons that Morocco was chosen to host the next United Nations climate change conference (COP 22) in November 2016, according to the CIF
“Africa, in general, and North Africa in particular, have tremendous potential for solar generation that remain largely untapped,” Sameh Mobarek, Senior Counsel and World Bank’s project manager told CNN.
“Morocco’s leadership in this area may provide the model for other countries to follow in pursuing development of their energy sectors in a sustainable manner.”
As well as lowering carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, this plant is expected to increase the share of renewable energy in total electricity generation from 13% to 42%, according to CIF
It is also hoped that the project will positively impact the surrounding area. Approximately 583,000 people live in Ouarzazate town 10km (6.2 miles) from the site.