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News: 134
February 05 2016 at 23:08


Morocco Unveils A Massive Solar Power Plant In The Sahara

by Cop22 Marrakech


Morocco has officially turned on a massive solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans.





The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants.

When the next two phases, Noor II and Noor III, are finished, the plant will be the single largest solar power production facility in the world, The Guardian says.

Morocco currently relies on imported sources for 97 percent of its energy consumption, according to the World Bank, which helped fund the Noor power plant project. Investing in renewable energy will make Morocco less reliant on those imports as well as reduce the nation's long-term carbon emissions by millions of tons.


The plant is similar to large-scale plants located in the Mohave Desert in the U.S. Solar thermal power plants capture the sun's energy as heat, then convert water into steam and turn turbines. As NASA explained last month:

"The system at Ouarzazate uses 12-meter-tall [39-foot-tall] parabolic mirrors to focus energy onto a fluid-filled pipeline," NASA's Kathryn Hansen wrote. "The pipeline's hot fluid — 393 degrees Celsius (739 degrees Fahrenheit) — is the heat source used to warm the water and make steam. The plant doesn't stop delivering energy at nighttime or when clouds obscure the sun; heat from the fluid can be stored in a tank of molten salts."


Full news: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/04/465568055/morocco-unveils-a-massive-solar-power-plant-in-the-sahara


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The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC is expected to take place in from 7-18 November 2016. Morocco has offered to host this COP.

Dates: 7-18 November 2016
Location: Marrakesh, Marrakech, Morocco
http://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar
Official Cop22: http://www.cop22.ma
Contact: UNFCCC Secretariat
Phone: +49-228 815-1000
Fax: +49-228-815-1999
E-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int
Organizational chart
Abdelâdim Lhafi (Commissaire) Aziz Mekouar (ambassadeur pour la négociation multilatérale)
Nizar Baraka (président du comité scientifique) Hakima Haité, (envoyée spéciale pour la mobilisation)
Driss El Yazami (responsable du pôle de la société civile) Faouzi Lekjaa (responsable du pôle financier)
Samira Sitaïl (responsable du pôle de la communication) Abdeslam Bikrate (responsable du pôle de la logistique et de la sécurité)
Said Mouline (responsable du pôle partenariat public/privé) Mohammed Benyahia (responsable du pôle événements parallèles ''side events'')