Wind turbines in farmland

Duurzame energie en economische vernieuwing in het Midden-Oosten

FEZ – De mondiale inzinking van de olieprijs heeft economieën in het hele Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika verwoest. Omdat ze ook in het verleden wel eens met stevige prijsdalingen zijn geconfronteerd, kunnen veel leiders in de regio in de verleiding komen te wachten totdat de prijzen weer gaan stijgen. Maar deze inzinking is anders, en overheden hebben behoefte aan nieuwe strategieën voor hun energie- en ontwikkelingsbeleid. Marokko's streven om een regionale kampioen te worden op het gebied van duurzame energie biedt een echte mogelijkheid voor economische ontwikkeling in andere Arabische landen.

Marokko investeert al enige tijd in grootschalige duurzame energieprojecten, maar die investeringen beginnen nu pas online te komen. Misschien de indrukwekkendste is de gigantische zonne-energiecentrale Noor-1, gelegen in de Marokkaanse woestijn in de buurt van Ouarzazate. Noor-1, op 4 februari opengegaan, maakt gebruik van zeer geavanceerde technologie om energie voor gebruik 's nachts en op bewolkte dagen op te slaan.

Noor-1, als de grootste zonne-energiecentrale ter wereld beschouwd, zal naar verwachting genoeg energie leveren voor een miljoen mensen, waarbij de extra elektriciteit uiteindelijk naar Europa en Afrika zal worden geëxporteerd, aldus de Wereldbank. Gezien het feit dat Marokko zo'n 97 procent van zijn energie importeert en geen eigen olie- of aardgasreserves bezit, heeft de regering de ontplooiing van duurzame energie als de enige manier gezien om de voortdurende economische ontwikkeling van het land te garanderen. Dit is een inzicht dat anderen in de regio zich ter harte zouden moeten nemen.

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