You might meet snake charmers in the square of Marrakech and also storytellers who tell a good tale. But there is one thing always true about Morocco: the sun always shines.
Foreign firms are eager to bank on Morocco’s attractive feed-in tariffs and catch some healthy profits from our sun.
Solar energy companies like Martifer Solar (www.martifersolar.com) from Portugal already has business in the United Arab Emirates. It’s common for European companies to go to European banks for financing then establish themselves in the Middle East and MENA region. This seems to be the only way forward to advance solar energy in the Middle East, always rife with conflict and instability.
The recent break up of the solar power consortium Desertec has been a huge disappointment to the renewable energy community. The idea was to create a pan-European North African, even Middle East energy grid with solar energy collected in the MENA region which could then be shipped via cables to Europe.
Despite the Desertec collapse (too many industrial cooks spoiled the broth), Europeans are still seeing green opportunities in the MENA region.
The Swiss company Sola Terra has recently announced its plan to set up no less than 16 photovoltaic (PV) plants in the super sunny area of southern Morocco.
The sites, totalling 25 megawatts of energy will be in the areas of Ourzazate, Ain Bni Mathar, Foum Al Oued, Boujdour, and Sebkat Tah. More locations will be announced soon.
Sola Terra has a thing for the Middle East and already operates in similarly shiny places like Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Turkey, and Morocco.
“The sun, unlike oil energy, is not part of the economic culture of the Middle East, but that will change,” said an insistent David Heimhofer, Terra Sola’s president.