A desert at Guelmim Oued Noun in central Morocco is currently the site of the Morocco-UK Power Project. The aim is to develop 10.5GW of renewable energy from solar and wind power, of which 3.6GW would be supplied to the UK, for an average of 20+ hours a day.
The zero-carbon energy will be transported using four 2,361-mile (3,800 kilometers) subsea HVDC cables. The use of HVDC cables can minimize the loss of energy to as low as two percent from nearly 30 percent with traditional alternating-current (AC) systems. The project will also be the longest to use such submarine cables.
The infrastructure for the facility is expected to cover 200 kilometers square of available area. The company behind the project, Xlinks, has already signed an agreement with the National Grid of the UK to provide two 1.8GW connections in Devon, helping to supply clean power to over seven million homes in the UK.
Morocco is also heading towards clean energy by setting a target of achieving 52 percent of its power capacity from renewable energy by 2030.
The company claims that the use of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme in the UK “would make the project a source of revenue rather than cost, delivering energy at £48 (US$63.43)/MWh CfD, below the government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS’) central forecast for energy prices,” Xlinks told Energy Storage News.
The project is also expected to create 10,000 jobs, both in Morocco and the UK combined, over the course of the next eight years.
The number of resources and energy needed to deliver such a large-scale project with batteries, aluminum cables, and solar equipment raises the question of its sustainability.
It also fuels the argument that advanced nations are dumping their carbon outputs into other developing parts of the world with such projects.