The implementation of solar cookers across Moroccan communities is proving to be a great example of how decentralization of renewable energy is contributing to the energy independence of a country.
Morocco is being widely portrayed around the world as one of the leading countries in renewable energy deployment. The countries’ government has set one the most ambitious targets with a 52% installed capacity renewable energy (RE) share by 2030. It has already achieved great success in the RE sector with the launch of the Noor Ourzazate solar project – the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world – and the Tarfaya wind park, which is Africa’s largest wind project.
Large scale RE projects like the Noor Ouarzazate solar farm are a great way to fight pollution and help to set Morocco on the right path in the fight against climate change. However, immediate benefits of these kind of projects to the local communities are less evident, which in turn affects the public support for renewable energies. For people in local communities, electricity still comes from the grid, they still pay the same – or an even higher – electricity bill, and the environmental benefits are not immediately palpable for them.
In order for the local communities to feel the benefits of renewable energy projects and understand their advantages, they need to be able to use it in a more direct and personal manner. Decentralized solar energy systems provide direct benefits to local communities because they provide obvious economic and social benefits to their owners, for example they can sell the excess power back to the grid and therefore alleviating their electricity bills. Moreover, due to the direct contact with the technology, the use of decentralized solar energy systems is an essential tool in educating the local communities about the importance of the fight against climate change and the various benefits of clean energy.
[Photo by Philippe Roos | Flickr]