163,000 Moroccans who previously had no access to electricity are going solar, thanks to Tenesol.
The world’s poorest two billion people have no access to any kind of electricity at all. Among them are people living in rural Morocco. These households are among the two billion that will greatly add to the world’s environmental problems over the next fifty years if they get on the dirty energy treadmill.
One solar company focused on the problem is the solar manufacturer and project developer Tenesol, headquartered in Lyon in the South of France, with its principal markets in the French Overseas Territories. The French company is helping rural Moroccans go straight to solar by installing 26,000 household solar systems far from the grid.
The world’s poorest leapfrogged the land line telephone (and the telegraph) and went straight to cell phones. If they could similarly bypass the medieval energy technology that damages our climate, all of us will live in a safer future.
So, the smart thing for clean tech companies is to find a way to switch these people on to an energy supply that has staying power in the long run. That is not fossil fuels, but wind and solar power.
Tenesol did it by partnering with Morocco’s National Electricity Office, and with funding from Agence Française de Développement. Temasol, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tenesol in Morocco since the transfer in 2008 of the respective shares of Total Maroc and EDF EDEV, focuses on decentralized rural electrification activities.
“Rural electrification is a major part of a country’s socio-economic development and this project reflects Morocco’s commitment to assisting and improving rural communities” says Jacques Mathan, export sales director at Tenesol. “Many of the families we work with have never had access to electricity but solar energy is fast becoming the renewable answer to their power needs.”
The company designs, manufactures, markets and operates solar-photovoltaic power systems, making about half of its solar panels in the South of France in Toulouse, where they just tripled production capacity from 17 MW annually to 50 MW annually.
The project will bring solar power to 163,000 people in 26,000 homes in rural Morocco. The project is scheduled to be complete by 2018 and is expected to cost 25 million Euros. The subsidiary company Temasol will supply, install and maintain the systems.
Since these homes are far from any grid, each household’s PV modules will be connected to a battery to store the power generated for use during the night. Temasol also plans to construct solar heating systems and solar generators to power remote telecommunications in Morocco.