11 April 2017 2017 08:30 AM GMT

Morocco Rises: Starts Construction On The World’s Largest Solar Power Complex

In the presence of the Moroccan King, Mohammed VI, the first sod was cut in Ouarzazate for the construction of a fourth power plant – NOORo IV – inside the world’s largest solar power complex. KfW Development Bank had signed the loan agreement for EUR 60 million for the construction of NOORo IV back in November 2016 in the presence of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech. After commissioning, which will likely take place in the beginning of 2018, the photovoltaic plant will enable annual savings of at least 56,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions. When all four power plants are combined, CO2 emissions will be reduced by around 800,000 tonnes every year. The Noor complex is scheduled to be completed by 2019 and supply a total of 580 megawatts of output power from three solar thermal energy plants and one photovoltaic plant.

“This makes Morocco a pioneer in Africa when it comes to transitioning to renewable sources of energy. Morocco is an example of how economic growth and development can be combined with climate protection”, said Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group.

Since 2009, Morocco has been working to implement its ambitious energy targets: by 2030, the percentage of installed electricity generation capacity based on renewable energies is planned to reach 52 per cent. In addition to solar energy, the country is also focusing on wind and water power. Moreover, Morocco also heavily participates in international endeavours to protect the climate, including those that take place in the context of the international Climate Partnership for implementing national climate contributions over which Morocco presides together with Germany.

KfW is supporting the construction of the solar power complex in southern Morocco with a total of EUR 829 million, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The planned total costs are approximately EUR 2.2 billion. At the start of 2016, the first power plant, NOORo I, was commissioned for the solar energy complex; NOORo II and III are still under construction. Germany plays a significant role in the project, which Morocco is using to implement its energy transition. In addition, the European Union and the French development agency, AfD, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) have pledged financing.

June 23rd 2017
Indian Firm Wins 1.8GW Sweihan Order; The Largest Solar PV Project In The World

Indian company Sterling and Wilson has won the contract for the world’s largest single location solar PV project. The Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi is for turnkey EPC as well as O&M; and is jointly developed by Japanese investment firm Marubeni, Chinese solar company Jinko Solar, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). It will deliver a capacity of 1177 MWp, surpassing the current largest 850 MWp single location plant in China. In March 2017, Marubeni and Jinko had signed a 25-year PPA with ADWEA on a tariff of $0.0242/kWh, making Sweihan also the plant with the lowest electricity price so far.

June 23rd 2017
Wind Power Can Provide Energy On Coldest Days: Met Office, Imperial College

A new study by climate scientists has advanced the understanding of the potential for wind power to provide energy during the coldest spells of winter weather. The team, which involved scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre, Imperial College London and the University of Reading, compared wind power availability with electricity demand in winter and they found an interesting result. The team found that during the highest 5% of energy demand days, one-third produce more wind power than the winter average. “The very coldest days are associated with a mix of different weather patterns, some of which produce high winds in parts of the UK.

June 20th 2017
EDF, Canadian Solar Join Forces For One Of The Largest Solar Projects In LATAM

EDF Energies Nouvelles has acquired an 80% interest in the Pirapora II PV project (115 MWp) from Canadian Solar Inc., which is retaining a 20% stake and manufacturing the PV panels locally. It marks the latest step by EDF in Brazil’s renewable energy sector. With this addition, it now has 489 MW under construction, consisting of 183 MW (wind) and 306 MWp (solar). The project is located close to Pirapora I (191 MWp), also jointly owned by both companies. With a total installed capacity of over 300 MWp, the energy generated by both projects will cover the annual electricity consumption of 323,000 Brazilian homes.