CNN zooms on Id Mjahdi, Africa’s first solar-powered village

On Morocco’s Atlantic coast lies Id Mjahdi a small village near the coastal city of Essaouira that secures all its energy needs from solar-energy, the first of its kind in the whole African continent, CNN said in a special report.

The US channel highlighted on its website the far-sightedness of Morocco’s renewable energy strategy. This strategy helps the North African country, which does not have oil of its own, to produce 35% of its energy needs from renewable sources with the aim of hitting the 52% target by 2030.

Morocco is already home to the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant that produces enough energy to meet the needs of a city such as Prague.

“Morocco is unquestionably a leader in sustainable energy,” Francesco La Camera, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), was quoted by CNN as saying.

The village of Id Mjahdi is a blueprint for how to power remote villages that would be expensive to connect to the national electricity grid, according to CNN.

Electricity is now supplied to the village thanks to 32 solar photovoltaic panels, which generate 8.32 kilowatts of electricity for distribution via a mini-grid.

“The power station is connected to around 20 homes in the village, serving more than 50 people. Each house was provided with a fridge, water heater, television, oven and an outlet to charge devices. The solar network has a battery that can supply up to five hours of electricity outside daylight hours,” CNN said.

The project which could be replicated elsewhere in Morocco and Africa was led by Moroccan solar company Cleanergy in cooperation with Cluster Solaire, a Moroccan non-profit group that supports green-tech companies, as well as the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy and French businesses Intermarché and Petit Olivier.

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