Solar Power Plants for North Africa

After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa

An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity . . . . .

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After Morocco’s ambitious but almost wholly concretised plan of a vast Solar Power Plant predicted at the time to be a Hard Act for Africa to follow, here is Tunisia coming onto the scene with its rather modest plan so as to reinforce the Solar Power Plants for North Africa
An article of Renewablesnow published this piece of information that was believed worth republishing on this site.

Tunisia sets two deadlines for 210 MW renewable energy tender

June 22 (Renewables Now) – Tunisia’s Ministry for Energy, Mines and Renewable energies has issued a calendar with two deadlines for a tender calling for the supply of 210 MW of electricity generation capacity from wind and solar photovoltaics.

Bidders are expected to submit offers by noon on November 15, 2017, at the latest for 140 MW of the capacity.

Wind capacity bids will be accepted in two batches. The first batch will seek bids with a total capacity of up to 60 MW and up to 30 MW per project. The second batch will seek smaller bids of up to 10 MW in capacity (up to 5 per project).

Wind bids for up to 70 MW will be tendered by November and another 70 MW will be tendered by August 15, 2018.

In photovoltaics, bids split into two batches as well. Both with a deadline on November 15, 2017. Again, the first batch will gather bids for up to 60 MW in capacity with 10 MW max capacity per project. The second batch will tender up to 10 MW with a 1 MW cap per project.

More information about the tender can be obtained via e-mail to ipper.autorisation@energy-mines.gov.tn .

A couple of months ago, Reuters reported that Algeria as per its Minister of Energy will invite bids to build three solar power plants.

It plans indeed to invite bids for the construction of three photo-voltaic solar power plants with a total capacity of about 4,000 MW.  The bids have yet to be made public; knowing that a new government has just been sworn into office and that any action would presumably take longer than first planned.  The former government said in a statement days before its unpredicted departure that the ministry would issue tenders for the three projects, without giving a specific timeline.

The three plants would help meet Algeria’s domestic demand for power and allow for exports of power to neighbouring countries, a source at the Energy Ministry told Reuters.

Several financial institutions, including the French Agency for Development and the African Bank for Development, have shown interest in funding the project, according to the Energy Ministry, calling it a “multi-billion dollar” project.

Sonatrach, Algeria’s giant state oil and gas firm, would fund about 50 percent of the cost of the three plants, a Sonatrach official said.

Last year, Italy’s ENI signed a deal with SONATRACH to develop renewable projects in Algeria.

U.S. firm General Electric had also shown interest in the solar plants with planned capacity of 4,000 MW, the Energy Ministry sources said.

Hit by a crash in revenues due to lower global oil prices, Algeria has been doubling efforts to increase gas exports after several years of stagnant production. Several new gas fields have come on stream in the past year.

According to Clean Technica, Algeria has set a long-term target to have 13,500 megawatts of solar PV power capacity by 2030. Thus, additional solar power tenders can be expected in the future. The North African country also plans to set up 5,000 megawatts of wind energy and 2,000 megawatts of concentrated solar power capacity by 2030.

Meanwhile, Dutch trains now run entirely on renewable energy these last days whilst Germany broke renewables record with coal and nuclear power responsible for only 15% of its total energy requirements.  And a plan to power Europe via massive solar arrays in the North African desert is more than a mirage but less than a reality reported by Lisa Friedman, ClimateWire on June 20, 2011 on Scientific American .

 

 

Conflict-hit Syrian hospital going Solar

Syrian civil strife and war of recent years have unfortunately reached such level where it is now difficult to even provide and maintain power at the required level needed by a hospital, let alone a Conflict-hit Syrian hospital going solar.  Despite the doom and gloom of such destruction and clear way to the light at the end of the tunnel, a show of such work is best proof that there is still hope for a “Happy End” of it all.

MENA-Forum as a hopeful space for a respectable understanding between all of its disparate peoples believe that only through operations such as these, that peace, prosperity and progress can be attained and maintained.

This article of CLIMATECHANGE published on May 29, 2017   and written by Megan Darby does give an excellent rendering of this heroic action that should be encouraged.

Conflict-hit Syrian hospital goes solar to save lives

Medical charity UOSSM plans to roll out solar power to five more facilities, reducing reliance on diesel generators to keep incubators and other equipment running

These solar panels are expected to supply cheaper and more reliable power to keep essential medical equipment running (Pic: YouTube screenshot/UOSSM)

A Syrian hospital completed a solar power installation on Monday, in a bid to save lives.

The hospital, which was not named to protect staff from attacks, was exclusively relying on diesel generators after six years of conflict destroyed much of the electricity grid.

Frequent diesel shortages and price spikes was putting lives at risk, according to a statement, not least those of premature babies in the facility’s six incubators.

Medical charity UOSSM, which is behind the project, estimates that the 480 solar panels installed will save 7,000 litres of diesel a month and cut energy costs by 20-30%.

It is planning to roll out solar panels to another five hospitals.

“We believe that this type of projects brings hope,” said Tarek Makdissi, project director of UOSSM’s Syria solar initiative. “Our dream is to see every medical facility in Syria running on clean, sustainable energy.”

 

 

Anas Al Kassem, war surgeon and chairman of UOSSM-Canada, said he was “overjoyed” to see the project up and running.

“The majority of the electrical infrastructure in Syria was either bombed, dismantled or destroyed,” he said. “Many patients have died from simple power outages. The solar project was desperately needed.”

How human error could have created the Sahara desert

After reading this interesting article of the World Economic Forum on How human error could have created the Sahara desert, one wonders if with the advent of Solar Power and its ineluctable progress throughout the world, the incriminated human beings in the proposed article of today would not take this opportunity to redress that millennia negligence tort.  We are assuming that the vastness of the Sahara would be put to good use in a scheme as already started in some parts of the MENA region.  With reference to our previous article on Solar Power plants from Morocco to Oman http://www.mena-forum.com/23067-2/ , it is clear that countries bordering the Sahara jumped on the gravy band wagon and started to develop schemes on their own.  There was however some attempts of the like of DESERTEC of Germany http://www.mena-forum.com/desertecs-difficult-path-production/ which tried to coordinate a giant development of solar power and route it back to the close by Europe.
In any case, we reproduce with our thanks, this recent article of the WEF that is recommended to be best read in conjunction with the referenced articles of MENA-Forum for a fuller picture of the on-going striving towards this form of renewable energy.  This article written by David Wright, Managing Partner, Trilateral Research & Consulting is published in collaboration with The Conversation on 16 March 2017.

Humans may have transformed the Sahara from lush paradise to barren desert.

The Image above is of REUTERS/David Rouge

Once upon a time, the Sahara was green. There were vast lakes. Hippos and giraffe lived there, and large human populations of fishers foraged for food alongside the lakeshores.

The “African Humid Period” or “Green Sahara” was a time between 11,000 and 4,000 years ago when significantly more rain fell across the northern two-thirds of Africa than it does today.

The vegetation of the Sahara was highly diverse and included species commonly found on the margins of today’s rainforests along with desert-adapted plants. It was a highly productive and predictable ecosystem in which hunter-gatherers appear to have flourished.

These conditions stand in marked contrast to the current climate of northern Africa. Today, the Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. It lies in the subtropical latitudes dominated by high-pressure ridges, where the atmospheric pressure at the Earth’s surface is greater than the surrounding environment. These ridges inhibit the flow of moist air inland.

How the Sahara became a desert

The stark difference between 10,000 years ago and now largely exists due to changing orbital conditions of the earth – the wobble of the earth on its axis and within its orbit relative to the sun.

But this period ended erratically. In some areas of northern Africa, the transition from wet to dry conditions occurred slowly; in others it seems to have happened abruptly. This pattern does not conform to expectations of changing orbital conditions, since such changes are slow and linear.

The most commonly accepted theory about this shift holds that devegetation of the landscape meant that more light reflected off the ground surface (a process known as albedo), helping to create the high-pressure ridge that dominates today’s Sahara.

But what caused the initial devegetation? That’s uncertain, in part because the area involved with studying the effects is so vast. But my recent paper presents evidence that areas where the Sahara dried out quickly happen to be the same areas where domesticated animals first appeared. At this time, where there is evidence to show it, we can see that the vegetation changes from grasslands into scrublands.

Scrub vegetation dominates the modern Saharan and Mediterranean ecosystems today and has significantly more albedo effects than grasslands.

If my hypothesis is correct, the initial agents of change were humans, who initiated a process that cascaded across the landscape until the region crossed an ecological threshold. This worked in tandem with orbital changes, which pushed ecosystems to the brink.

Historical precedent

There’s a problem with testing my hypothesis: datasets are scarce. Combined ecological and archaeological research across northern Africa is rarely undertaken.

But well-tested comparisons abound in prehistoric and historic records from across the world. Early Neolithic farmers of northern EuropeChina and southwestern Asia are documented as significantly deforesting their environments.

In the case of East Asia, nomadic herders are believed to have intensively grazed the landscape 6,000 years ago to the point of reducing evapo-transpiration – the process which allows clouds to form – from the grasslands, which weakened monsoon rainfall.

Their burning and land-clearance practices were so unprecedented that they triggered significant alterations to the relationship between the land and the atmosphere that were measurable within hundreds of years of their introduction.

Similar dynamics occurred when domesticated animals were introduced to New Zealand and North America upon initial settlement by Europeans in the 1800s – only in these instances they were documented and quantified by historical ecologists.

Ecology of fear

Landscape burning has been occurring for millions of years. Old World landscapes have hosted humans for more than a million years and wild grazing animals for more than 20 million years. Orbitally induced changes in the climate are as old as the earth’s climate systems themselves.

So what made the difference in the Sahara? A theory called the “ecology of fear” may contribute something to this discussion. Ecologists recognise that the behaviour of predatory animals toward their prey has a significant impact on landscape processes. For example, deer will avoid spending significant time in open landscapes because it makes them easy targets for predators (including humans).

If you remove the threat of predation, the prey behave differently. In Yellowstone National Park, the absence of predators is argued to have changed grazers’ habits. Prey felt more comfortable grazing alongside the exposed riverbanks, which increased the erosion in those areas. The re-introduction of wolves into the ecosystem completely shifted this dynamic and forests regenerated within several years. By altering the “fear-based ecology”, significant changes in landscape processes are known to follow.

The introduction of livestock to the Sahara may have had a similar effect. Landscape burning has a deep history in the few places in which it has been tested in the Sahara. But the primary difference between pre-Neolithic and post-Neolithic burning is that the ecology of fear was altered.

Most grazing animals will avoid landscapes that have been burned, not only because the food resources there are relatively low, but also because of exposure to predators. Scorched landscapes present high risks and low rewards.

But with humans guiding them, domesticated animals are not subject to the same dynamics between predator and prey. They can be led into recently burned areas where the grasses will be preferentially selected to eat and the shrubs will be left alone. Over the succeeding period of landscape regeneration, the less palatable scrubland will grow faster than succulent grasslands – and, thus, the landscape has crossed a threshold.

It can be argued that early Saharan pastoralists changed the ecology of fear in the area, which in turn enhanced scrubland at the expense of grasslands in some places, which in turn enhanced albedo and dust production and accelerated the termination of the African Humid Period.

I tested this hypothesis by correlating the occurrences and effects of early livestock introduction across the region, but more detailed paleoecological research is needed. If proven, the theory would explain the patchy nature of the transition from wet to dry conditions across northern Africa.

Lessons for today

Although more work remains, the potential of humans to profoundly alter ecosystems should send a powerful message to modern societies.

More than 35% of the world’s population lives in dryland ecosystems, and these landscapes must be carefully managed if they are to sustain human life. The end of the African Humid Period is a lesson for modern societies living on drylands: if you strip the vegetation, you alter the land-atmosphere dynamics, and rainfall is likely to diminish.

This is precisely what the historic records of rainfall and vegetation in the south-western desert of the United States demonstrates, though the precise causes remain speculative.

In the meantime, we must balance economic development against environmental stewardship. Historical ecology teaches us that when an ecological threshold is crossed, we cannot go back. There are no second chances, so the long-term viability of 35% of humanity rests on maintaining the landscapes where they live. Otherwise we may be creating more Sahara Deserts, all around the world.

 

 

Solar Power production and storage

In our article A Clean Energy Revolution is Underway  we tried to elaborate on Solar Power production and storage that is getting preponderant in our life literally by the day.  We are increasingly seeing how Energy is more and more appreciated but from as clean a source as it can be mustered by the available technology and like for anything else, it is no more a matter of generation but rather of storing or stock piling what has been produced.  In this particular case it is about batteries and / or different types of batteries. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones to date.
“To smooth out the production of a solar plant on a 24 hours basis, store a day production of electricity at night. For this batteries are a Classic solution.”  said André Gennesseaux of Energiestro, specialist in the field for 15 years explaining in an article in French of EDF’s Electrek  post.  This is Voss, rewarded by EDF Pulse 2015 priced invention.
Alternatives abound such as for instance the beautiful promises of the hydrogen to address the Intermittency of renewable energy, hydrogen could be the ideal solution to store excess production of wind turbines or solar power stations. EDF has also committed on this topic via its Electranova program.
More recently, Tesla TESLA TESLA BATTERY  commissioned researchers hit good results with a revolutionary battery system.  This is elaborated in this proposed article of electrek posted on May 9, 2017 written by Fred Lambert .  Here it is reproduced for its obvious interests, etc.

Tesla battery researcher says they doubled lifetime of batteries in Tesla’s products 4 years ahead of time [Updated]

@FredericLambert

Almost a year into his new research partnership with Tesla, battery researcher Jeff Dahn has been hitting the talk circuit presenting some of his team’s recent progress. We reported last week on his talk at the International Battery Seminar from March and now we have a talk from him at MIT this week.

He went into details about why Tesla decided to work with his team and hire one of his graduate students, but he also announced that they have developed cells that can double the lifetime of the batteries in Tesla’s products – 4 years ahead of schedule.

Update: Dahn reached out to clarify that the cells in question were tested in the lab and they are not in Tesla’s products yet.

During the talk titled “Why would Tesla Motors partner with some Canadian?” – embedded below, Dahn explained how they invented a way to test battery cells in order to accurately monitor them during charging and discharging to identify causes for degradation.

Like he admitted in his talk at the International Battery Seminar in March, Dahn doesn’t claim that he understands perfectly the chemistry behind the degradation, but the machines that they developed enabled them to test new chemistries more accurately and much faster – resulting in significant discoveries for the longevity of the cells.

One of his students working on the project went on to work for Tesla’s in-house battery cell research group and another started a company to commercialize the battery cell testing machines that they developed. Their client list includes Tesla, but also Apple, GM, 24M, and plenty of other large battery manufacturers and consumers.

In the second half of the talk, he explained how their new testing methods led them to discover that a certain aluminum coating outperformed any other material. The cells tested showed barely any degradation under high numbers of cycles at moderate temperature and only little degradation even in difficult conditions.

When it was time to talk about how those discoveries are impacting Tesla’s products, Dahn asked to stop recording the talk in order to go into the details.

While we couldn’t get that valuable information, when they started recording again, it was for a Q&A session and the first question was about his team’s ultimate goal for the lifetime of li-ion batteries.

He hesitated to answer, but then he said:

“In the description of the [Tesla] project that we sent to NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to get matching funds from the government for the project, I wrote down the goal of doubling the lifetime of the cells used in the Tesla products at the same upper cutoff voltage. We exceeded that in round one. OK? So that was the goal of the project and it has already been exceeded. We are not going to stop – obviously – we have another four years to go. We are going to go as far as we can.”

This is impressive, especially since their research partnership started only in June 2016 and in February 2017, Dahn said that his team’s research is already “going into the company’s products“ – just a month after Tesla and Panasonic started production of their new ‘2170’ battery cell at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

It’s not necessarily related, but the timing is certainly interesting. It can take some time for products successfully tested in the lab to make it to production products.

It’s also important to note that Dahn’s research was focusing on Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) battery cells, which Tesla uses for its stationary storage products (Powerwall and Powerpack), and the first cell production at Gigafactory 1 was for those products.

Dahn explained that by increasing the lifetime of those batteries, Tesla is reducing the cost of delivered kWh for its residential and utility-scale projects. He gave examples of the costs at $0.23 per kWh for residential solar with storage and $0.139 per kWh for utility-scale, based on Tesla’s current projects:

For the batteries in its vehicles, Tesla uses Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) and Dahn said that they are also working on this chemistry. Tesla and Panasonic are planning to start production of battery cells for vehicles, starting with the Model 3, at Gigafactory 1 by June 2017.

He added that considering Tesla’s use of aluminum in its chassis, there’s no reason why both the cars and the batteries couldn’t last 20 years.

Here’s the talk in full (update: MIT made the video private after we published our article):

Further reading :

How clean is solar power? The Economist wondered in an article dated December 10, 2016 http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21711301-new-paper-may-have-answer-how-clean-solar-power where all production parameters were critically reviewed in the light of their impacting Climate Change in the process of manufacturing of the necessary hardware.

Solar Power production and storage

In our article A Clean Energy Revolution is Underway  we tried to elaborate on Solar Power production and storage that is getting preponderant in our life literally by the day.  We are increasingly seeing how Energy is more and more appreciated but from as clean a source as it can be mustered by the available technology and like for anything else, it is no more a matter of generation but rather of storing or stock piling what has been produced.  In this particular case it is about batteries and / or different types of batteries. Here are some of the most noteworthy ones to date.
“To smooth out the production of a solar plant on a 24 hours basis, store a day production of electricity at night. For this batteries are a Classic solution.”  said André Gennesseaux of Energiestro, specialist in the field for 15 years explaining in an article in French of EDF’s Electrek  post.  This is Voss, rewarded by EDF Pulse 2015 priced invention.
Alternatives abound such as for instance the beautiful promises of the hydrogen to address the Intermittency of renewable energy, hydrogen could be the ideal solution to store excess production of wind turbines or solar power stations. EDF has also committed on this topic via its Electranova program.
More recently, Tesla TESLA TESLA BATTERY  commissioned researchers hit good results with a revolutionary battery system.  This is elaborated in this proposed article of electrek posted on May 9, 2017 written by Fred Lambert .  Here it is reproduced for its obvious interests, etc.

Tesla battery researcher says they doubled lifetime of batteries in Tesla’s products 4 years ahead of time [Updated]

@FredericLambert

Almost a year into his new research partnership with Tesla, battery researcher Jeff Dahn has been hitting the talk circuit presenting some of his team’s recent progress. We reported last week on his talk at the International Battery Seminar from March and now we have a talk from him at MIT this week.

He went into details about why Tesla decided to work with his team and hire one of his graduate students, but he also announced that they have developed cells that can double the lifetime of the batteries in Tesla’s products – 4 years ahead of schedule.

Update: Dahn reached out to clarify that the cells in question were tested in the lab and they are not in Tesla’s products yet.

During the talk titled “Why would Tesla Motors partner with some Canadian?” – embedded below, Dahn explained how they invented a way to test battery cells in order to accurately monitor them during charging and discharging to identify causes for degradation.

Like he admitted in his talk at the International Battery Seminar in March, Dahn doesn’t claim that he understands perfectly the chemistry behind the degradation, but the machines that they developed enabled them to test new chemistries more accurately and much faster – resulting in significant discoveries for the longevity of the cells.

One of his students working on the project went on to work for Tesla’s in-house battery cell research group and another started a company to commercialize the battery cell testing machines that they developed. Their client list includes Tesla, but also Apple, GM, 24M, and plenty of other large battery manufacturers and consumers.

In the second half of the talk, he explained how their new testing methods led them to discover that a certain aluminum coating outperformed any other material. The cells tested showed barely any degradation under high numbers of cycles at moderate temperature and only little degradation even in difficult conditions.

When it was time to talk about how those discoveries are impacting Tesla’s products, Dahn asked to stop recording the talk in order to go into the details.

While we couldn’t get that valuable information, when they started recording again, it was for a Q&A session and the first question was about his team’s ultimate goal for the lifetime of li-ion batteries.

He hesitated to answer, but then he said:

“In the description of the [Tesla] project that we sent to NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to get matching funds from the government for the project, I wrote down the goal of doubling the lifetime of the cells used in the Tesla products at the same upper cutoff voltage. We exceeded that in round one. OK? So that was the goal of the project and it has already been exceeded. We are not going to stop – obviously – we have another four years to go. We are going to go as far as we can.”

This is impressive, especially since their research partnership started only in June 2016 and in February 2017, Dahn said that his team’s research is already “going into the company’s products“ – just a month after Tesla and Panasonic started production of their new ‘2170’ battery cell at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

It’s not necessarily related, but the timing is certainly interesting. It can take some time for products successfully tested in the lab to make it to production products.

It’s also important to note that Dahn’s research was focusing on Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) battery cells, which Tesla uses for its stationary storage products (Powerwall and Powerpack), and the first cell production at Gigafactory 1 was for those products.

Dahn explained that by increasing the lifetime of those batteries, Tesla is reducing the cost of delivered kWh for its residential and utility-scale projects. He gave examples of the costs at $0.23 per kWh for residential solar with storage and $0.139 per kWh for utility-scale, based on Tesla’s current projects:

For the batteries in its vehicles, Tesla uses Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) and Dahn said that they are also working on this chemistry. Tesla and Panasonic are planning to start production of battery cells for vehicles, starting with the Model 3, at Gigafactory 1 by June 2017.

He added that considering Tesla’s use of aluminum in its chassis, there’s no reason why both the cars and the batteries couldn’t last 20 years.

Here’s the talk in full (update: MIT made the video private after we published our article):

 

Further reading :

How clean is solar power? The Economist wondered in an article dated December 10, 2016 http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21711301-new-paper-may-have-answer-how-clean-solar-power where all production parameters were critically reviewed in the light of their impacting Climate Change in the process of manufacturing of the necessary hardware.

 

 

Solar Power plants from Morocco to Oman

Following the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015, the MENA countries kick-started their part of the Agreements, otherwise known as their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs). Meanwhile, all renewable energy related hardware costs dropping as pushed by ever increasing advances in technology, most of these [ . . . ]

Following the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015, the MENA countries kick-started their part of the Agreements, otherwise known as their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs).  Meanwhile, all renewable energy related hardware costs dropping as pushed by ever increasing advances in technology, most of these countries embarked on development programs mainly in the solar power sector. These programs have started to be concretised and are now showing in the diverse landscapes as the 2016 crop of Solar Power plants from Morocco to Oman.

A MENA region focused organisation (MESIA) specialising in renewable energy produced a report titled Middle East Solar Outlook 2016 in which it reviews all countries that had substantial realisations to date whether on the ground or still on the drawing board.

The specialist website Renewables Now has reviewed the MESIA report and published its views on it on February 17, 2017.  Here are some excerpts.

 

MENA reaches 885 MW solar in operation, several tenders coming

Solar power in Algeria Source: russavia on flickr.com (CC BY 2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had 885 MW of operational solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (CSP) parks at the end of 2016, and there are now about 5 GW of projects in the pipeline, according to the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).

A bit over 3.6 GW of projects are under execution, with Egypt leading the list with 1.5 GW. MESIA expects financial close for Egyptian projects this year.

Details on several tenders for solar capacity are expected soon. MESIA said the bid submission date for Dubai’s 200-MW concentrated solar power project is to be scheduled in May. The award and closing of the auction is seen to take place in the second half of the year. Saudi Arabia is expected to tender 300 MW later in 2017 and Oman is to issue a request for proposal (RfP) in mid-year for a PV project of around 200 MW.

Solar tenders or plans for such have also been announced in Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Iran.

The table shows the operational capacity and under execution projects at the end of 2016. All figures comes from MESIA’s annual report and all are in megawatts (MW).

“2017 looks like a promising and busy year for those active in the solar industry.”MESIA expects this year to see further adoption of batteries, pumped-hydro and other energy storage technologies across the region.

 

Morocco : By the numbers, a Macroeconomic Data and Trends

The Financial Times, a British daily newspaper produced Analyse-Africa recently published the second of its new series on African countries report. It is about Morocco in a Report that is proposed as put in its title Morocco : By the numbers by all relevant numbers, graphics, charts and of course all related explanatory notes, etc. as per leading global sources on African countries, etc. on its economy, political stability, foreign direct investment, trade, banking [ . . . ]

The Financial Times, a British daily newspaper produced Analyse-Africa recently published the second of its new series on African countries report. It is about Morocco in a Report that is proposed as put in its title Morocco : By the numbers by all relevant numbers, graphics, charts and of course all related explanatory notes, etc.

as per leading global sources on African countries, etc. on its economy, political stability, foreign direct investment, trade, banking & finance, infrastructure, telecoms, labour, education and healthcare.

An introductory text sets the background by giving some key dates of the country’s contemporary history such as those of the short and ephemeral French protectorate prior to independence in 1956 before dwelling at length on its relationship with its immediate neighbour Algeria.  It reviews also some of the most obvious aspects of its internal political life to end by Morocco’s reinsertion into the African Union.

Some description of the land and resources held therein are covered in one page.  Demographics details on life expectancy, natality rates, religion, languages, ethnicities, etc. are splashed around for a better visualisation of the country’s human characteristics. Population estimated in 2016 at 32.84 million preponderantly young and with a penchant for emigrating has been noted towards Europe.

Politics and stability ensued in some detail on governance quality with details of the central and local authorities and ranking according to the proposed Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance.  Morocco comes second to Tunisia after the passage of the Arab Spring.  Corruption and freedom of the press are schematically reviewed as being somewhat lacking in girth and depth.  Not forgetting the importance women in the country’s politics, the status is that these have some way to go to catch up with its neighbours.

The economy as it is expected takes up few pages, starting with an evaluation of the country’s GDP and its ranking over time as compared to other North and sub Saharan African countries.  It is dominated by the agricultural sector and the automotive industry.  The renewables industry has sprung to be an asset which the authorities are tabling on for the future development of the country. Other sector of the economic activities such as trade, banking and finance, state of the infrastructure, the telecoms generally are reviewed and statically ascertained.

Labour, education and healthcare are reported in great details as compared to other neighbouring countries.  The great leap forward is without any doubt the ICT infrastructure that allows an ever increasing number of the population access to the Internet media, social, e-commerce, e-government, etc.

Certain of the trends are highlighted in Morocco’s estimated GDP of $105bn that grew by 1.85%.  Morocco is ranked as the third easiest place in Africa to do business in and that it has in 2016, approximately 11.28 million people employed, with a labour force participation rate of 49%.

Problems of the Rif’s populations enduring difficult relationship with the central authority were not covered though some mention of the Spanish establishments of Ceuta and Melilla were. Conversely, Western Saharan peoples striving for auto determination long lasting issue was duly reported with however a certain impartiality.