In 2015 – the year the Tarfaya wind farm opened – 97 per cent of Morocco’s energy came from imported fossil fuels, according to data from the World Bank.
Nevertheless this is set to change as Morocco targets to surge the share of renewable energy sources in the country’s power mix to 52 per cent by 2030, with an provisional target set at 42 per cent by 2020.
According to the Moroccan Investment Development Agency projections, the nation’s wind energy latent is about 25,000 MW.
The 131 wind turbines at Tarfaya are particularly designed to survive the region’s harsh conditions of both the salty ocean winds, desert sandstorms and the year round hot weather, Siemens – the project’s developer – said.
The turbines have been tailored with a cooling system designed for high performance in severe environments, which results in less turbine downtime and higher yearly energy production.
Siemens energy management solutions – including transformers and control systems – mean that the renewable energy produced is fed into Morocco’s power grid, providing a dependable supply of electricity for households and businesses.
According to the automation company, the wind energy project is estimated to counterpoise 900,000 tons of CO2 emissions yearly.
Moreover, the Tarfaya wind farm offers a remarkable 15 per cent of the 2,000 MW target set by the Moroccan government.
Morocco has also switched on the initial phase of what will be one of the world’s largest solar plants.
The plant, situated just outside the town of Ouarzazate, will be the size of Marrakesh by the time it is completed in 2018, and deliver sufficient electricity for 1.1 million people.
The Climate Investment Funds approximates that the plant will cut CO2 emissions by about 760,000 tons yearly