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Morocco farms wind as viable energy source
February 8, 2013, 3:17 pm


A wind energy farm in Tangiers, Morocco. [AP]

While harvesting wind power has been the domain of G20 countries in the past decade, the alternative energy source has gained popularity in many regions of Africa.

In Morocco, the authorities are looking to reduce their dependence on imported oil and gas with 2,000 megawatts of wind generation throughout the country by 2020.

Moroccan energy company Nareva Holding will be working with French utility giant GDF Suez on a 20-year $620-million project to upgrade the 300MW Tarfaya wind farm along the country’s southern coast.

The wind farm is expected to begin electricity production by the end of 2014.

“The Tarfaya project is in line with the Group’s development strategy in fast growing markets,” Gérard Mestrallet, chairman and CEO of GDF Suez, recently told the media.

“We are pleased to support Morocco’s ambitions to increase its renewable energy sources with this project, which will almost double the country’s wind capacity. As the largest wind farm ever constructed by GDF SUEZ, it also demonstrates our commitment to investing in renewables as well as delivering essential energy infrastructure to Africa.”

Once the Tarfaya project is completed, it will be the largest wind farm on the continent. It will supply electricity reaching 40 per cent of energy from renewable sources to the Moroccan state utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE).

Wind farming has also become a strategic interest in South Africa, where several countries, including India and China, have vied for the rights to build alternative energy projects there.

Suzlon Energy Ltd, India’s largest wind-turbine maker, is currently developing the Cookhouse wind farm in South Africa so that it generate 2,000 megawatts of power in the country by 2018.

Source: Agencies