Not far from the Sahara desert and the High Atlas Mountains, many solar panel rows are lined up on a bare plateau at an elevation of 1,300 meters as part of an ambitious project that is part of Morocco’s focus to diversify the North African country’s energy sources and mobilise its renewable resources.

“This site was chosen firstly because of the importance of the solar resources available in this location,” Rachid Bayed, a director of the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, Masen, told New Europe in an interview in Ouarzazate.

“We have here 3,000 acres below us to develop big and bigger projects,” he said from a new observation tower at the site. He noted that the quality of the soil and proximity to a dam are very important for the projects.

“We’re in a location that’s not that far from the Sahara and as you can see the soil that we have here is not used for any other activity like agriculture,” Bayed said, adding that the solar projects add value to the land, which would not have otherwise been used.


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