AfDB Approves US $800 Million in Loans to Advance Morocco’s Wind and Solar Ambitions
4 September 2012
African Development Bank
Over the first half of 2012, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been demonstrating its commitment to support the scaling up of renewable energy in Africa with the approval of US $800 million in loans to spur private investment in Morocco’s growing wind and solar markets. The Bank’s technical and financial support of Morocco’s plan to develop a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant at Ouarzazate and its Integrated Wind/Hydro and Rural Electrification Program is helping Morocco realize its goal of increasing installed renewable energy capacity to 42 per cent by 2020 and becoming a renewable energy industry leader.
“Morocco has emerged as an early leader in developing low carbon, sustainable energy on a large scale, and we are proud to support their drive. Lessons learned from these projects will inform efforts going forward in the country, region and around the world,” stated Hela Cheikhrouhou, Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department.
Banking on the sun
In May 2012, the AfDB approved a loan for €168 million from its own resources and a concessionary loan for US $100 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), a Climate Investment Funds (CIF) program, to finance the first phase of the CSP plant at Ouarzazate. It aims to generate 120 to 160 MW in its first phase and 500MW at full capacity, making it the largest CSP plant in the world. The project is structured as a public private partnership (PPP) between the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) and a private partner. Estimated at €1.04 billion total cost, the project will be jointly financed by six other agencies including the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Agence Française de développement, German Development Bank (KfW), Neighbourhood Investment Facility (European Commission), as well as other Moroccan institutions.