Sixty percent of Morocco’s fuel reserves consists of petroleum and 23 percent of the country’s energy is derived from coal, according to the DESERTEC Knowledge Platform. Yet Morocco has to import roughly 96 percent of its fossil fuel, which is both costly and politically destabilizing. So it comes as no surprise that learning institutions around the North African country are seeking solar solutions to something that has become as intrinsic to Moroccan society as camels and couscous: cars.
Moroccan students unveiled plans to build a solar-powered electric vehicle, allAfrica reports. Students that belong to the Energy Club of the Mohammadia School of Engineers presented their ambitions to attendees of the third “Power Day” held in Rabat last week – a conference that has increasingly incorporated renewable energy into its vision for the future.
While very few details have been revealed (such as when will the car be ready, who will fund the technology, and do they intend for the concept to be scaled for commercial applications, the Mohammadia engineering students intend to build lightweight vehicles that take their power from the sun.
Photovoltaic cells are expected to be used to charge the vehicle’s batteries. It has an electric engine.
At less than 300 kilograms, the car should travel between 40 and 100 kilometers per hour, provided the driver weighs less than 70 kg. While definitely not viable as a two person ride, the car would reduce energy dependence and pollution, writes allAfrica.
With solar radiation DNI as high as 2642 kWh/m2/year in parts of the country, Morocco is well-poised to become a solarized nation.
In 2009 the government launched the Moroccan Solar Plan, which laid out a multi-year installation of five solar plants that will produce a combined 2 GW of electricity – about twice as much energy as a large nuclear plant produces.
Image: screen grab from MAPTV