Lessons from Morocco’s solar initiative on sustainable energy
August 1, 2012 Editor 0
Light the candle instead of whining about darkness!
Zimbabwe has been experiencing incessant power outages for a long time now, and it is therefore, necessary that the energy issue the world over be looked into so as to clear the issue as soon as possible. Clearly, the conventional sources of power such as coal, natural gas and oil from fossil fuels have serious ramifications on the environment.
It is also evident to all and sundry that Africa may be contributing to its own challenges and problems regarding the energy issue through misplaced priorities and poor governance. However, there are numerous opportunities that can be grabbed by the African governments’,’ for instance, solar energy that has largely remained unexploited fully. Morocco has set the ball rolling by demonstrating to the world that clean and renewable sources of energy are within the reach of the African governments’ ability.
This can be explained by lay terms as follows; solar energy is an environmental friendly form of energy that utilizes sunlight to provide electricity for lighting, home use such as heating water, cooling home businesses and also the manufacturing industry.
Solar energy is an environmental friendly source of energy that can be replenished meaning that it is not exhaustible hence very reliable since its supply can be easily maintained. Conversely, the other sources of energy that have been in existent since time immemorial such as coal and gas from fossil fuels are exhaustible and non-renewable.
The issue of energy is being taken seriously by the sensitive customers and activists within the energy sector who are agitating for use of environmental friendly sources of energy, for instance, solar, wind, geothermal, steam, hydro-electricity among others. Within the energy circles these renewable-energy sources are usually referred to as “Green Power.”
Solar energy has a number of reasons why it is the preferred choice of energy. This article will discuss some of these reasons. First, since solar energy does not depend on fossil fuels, which are expensive and non-renewable sources of energy it is quite sustainable. For this reason solar energy is thus a reliable source of energy. However, this source of energy is dependent on factors such as time of day and season of the year and for this reason a solar system that is properly installed should ensure a highly reliable provision of extended electricity supply without price implications. Non dependence on fossil fuels makes solar energy the preferred choice among any population group the world over.
The second strength of solar energy is the fact that it does not harm the environment. Solar energy takes care of the environment in contrast to its non-renewable counterparts such as gas, oil and coal. It is thus sustainable hence takes care of the environment.
A properly fixed solar system is quite convenient in that it is independently operable without any power or gas connection. Therefore, to make this more practical and cost effective these solar system scan to be erected in secluded locations such as holiday log cabins in contrast to supplying electricity for domestic use to a new location.
The third reason why solar energy beats other forms of energy is the fact that it requires very little maintenance that may last for many years, and the cost is quite affordable. The only challenge in costs is incurred during installation, and once this is done the subsequent costs are low.
The fact that solar systems are clean less noisy as there is no fuel cost or bad smell release makes this form of energy a preferred choice. The success of solar energy in Africa can be observed from Morocco. Zimbabwe and the other Southern African countries have also taken bold steps in embracing solar energy
Morocco is not endowed with natural resources such as oil, which is the case for its Arabian counterparts and this did not deter its vision of lighting the country. The Moroccan government longed to light up the whole country for a long time, and the involved stakeholders put in place mechanisms to harness this important source of energy.
The solar project started mid 2002 after serious consultation between stakeholders both within and without Morocco. The idea of public-private partnership(s) was conceived, and this was aimed at electrifying the whole country with a clean and renewable source of energy.
It is quite hard to fathom the energy requirements of the Moroccan population of 32 million and whether the government can meet the electricity needs of the population. Fruits from the Deserted Initiative are being reaped after the main goal was achieved and right now Morocco exports electricity to Europe, a rare achievement indeed.
The Moroccan case study of taking viewing challenges as opportunity other than impediment should be adopted by the African countries which are accustomed to the “wait-and-see” attitude. This attitude has also made the African continent lag behind with regards to technology. If the African countries are willing to emancipate themselves from incessant problems such as food insecurity, then the governments and stakeholders in general should give preference to the solar millennium needs.
The solar initiative from Morocco can be replicated in almost all African countries in terms of getting funds, logistics of operation, technology application and models for the energy provision. Zimbabwe is endowed with vast farms, which can be used for harnessing solar energy. This can be easily done if the energy stakeholders put their act together and conduct feasibility studies to determine the ideal location for installing solar systems. They can also link up with neighbouring countries and pool resources so that the project comes into fruition.
The aforementioned steps are also important in fostering regional integration and co-operation and instead of looking at lack of something as an impediment to something we should instead open our eyes wide and consider that as an opportunity.
Source: news Day
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