In order to meet domestic energy demand, and outsource clean energy to nearby Europe, Morocco started to invest in new energy sources, such as wind and solar farms. Europe has been interested in the potential for renewable energy in North Africa for a few years due to limited space and uncertain weather at home. Obviously the electricity will be primarily used to supply Morocco, but the excess will be transported to European grids and will help them to reach the set goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.
In 2009 the ball started rolling with the proposal of a $9 billion solar farm, which would help Morocco become a green leader in North Africa and also remove the threat of fluctuating prices of imported oil which it currently relies upon. They were hoping that renewable energy could help them economically, but now they are looking at more; the possibility that renewable energy could unite North Africa.
Last year North Africa experienced political and economic evolution. New governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have created the potential for partnerships for the first time in decades. A united North Africa would put them in a stronger position for developing renewable energy projects and exporting excess energy to Europe. They hope that a unified North Africa would be more appealing to investors, and that increased investment in renewable energy would affect the countries in general with improved education, increased jobs, and more money circulating in the economy.
At least that is the plan. In truth these dreams could still be a long way off. Will Pearson, an energy analyst at the Eurasia Group, said that before European investors could be seriously attracted to the region issues of transport infrastructure needed to be sorted. Funding in the current European economy will also be hard to secure, at least in the near future.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…