(Note for new readers: We'll continue to post tsunami-related analysis today and in coming days, but we're going to start shifting back towards the broader scope of issues we cover here at WorldChanging. We hope you find our coverage of models, tools, and ideas for building a better future interesting and useful.)
The Alternative Energy Blog points us to a set of articles at ArabicNews.com about the current status of renewable energy in Morocco. We've noted before the potential for abundant use of wind and solar power in the developing world, and Morocco seems to be taking tentative steps towards greater reliance on renewable energy. As with other developing countries, solar power is of particular value in rural electrification; it currently is 3 percent of the rural electricity mix, but is on track to be 8-10 percent by 2007-2008. Solar is also being used in urban settings, with an emphasis on solar water heating. The number of solar water heaters jumped from 20,738 in 1998 to 111,332 in 2004. Part of the jump in use can be attributed to a 1999 UNDP-coordinated program supporting the deployment of solar heaters and solar power collectors.
The big renewable push, however, is in wind power. Morocco is ideally-located for wind farms, and Moroccan wind farms generated 203 gigawatt-hours in 2003, up from 194 GWH in 2002 and just under 64 GWH in 2000. (Pictures of one of the Moroccan wind farms, run by a company called Sahara Wind, can be found here.) Two more wind farms are scheduled to come online in 2006 and 2007.