English National Exam Humanities 2016
 Morocco is the biggest importer of energy in North Africa. With growing energy consumption, Morocco is trying alternative solutions to meet its demands while keeping the environment clean. Moreover, the country aims at becoming a major producer of renewable energy.
 Morocco has wind energy production of over 800 megawatts already in operation and has recently inaugurated
Africa’s largest wind farm. As for hydroelectric power (energy generated from water), Morocco has programmed a new station for energy transfer by pumping water in the region of Agadir. This station will be operational in 2020.
 Yet, the perfect answer to the country’s heavy energy demands is the solar power plants. As world leaders were discussing the effects of climate change at the Paris Conference, Morocco had already started a very ambitious clean energy project, named “Noor” in the area of Ouarzazate, taking advantage of the Sahara sunshine. It is the largest solar power production facility in the world.
 With a capacity of 580 megawatts, the Noor power station is expected to occupy a space as big as the city of Rabat and provide electricity to 1 million homes. It is the fruit of the country’s efforts in recent years to reduce dependence on imported energy. The first phase of the project, Noor 1, is already operating. This first station alone can produce a power equivalent to 160 megawatts and provide energy to 650,000 locals from sunrise until three hours after sunset. Noor 2 and Noor 3 will follow soon. Environmentally, once the three plants are operational, gas emissions should decrease significantly.
 Renewable energy in Morocco is also contributing to the development of job creation and the improvement of social services. Noor 1 alone has created around 1,000 jobs in the region of Ouarzazate. Moreover, the millions of dollars spent on importing oil will now be used to finance social services such as building more schools and hospitals.
 In order to sustain our development and keep a better future for the coming generations, we need to make our energy sector cleaner. Morocco is a shining example to follow with regard to solar and wind energy in Africa. The 2016 conference on climate change, which is to be hosted in Marrakech, will further highlight Morocco’s efforts to become a leader in the use of renewable energies.
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