Morocco Heads toward Renewable Energy

January 12, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. underway /ˈʌn dərˌweɪ/ (adj.) – in the process of starting
Example: They went to the park because the parade is underway.

2. solar /ˈsoʊ lər/ (adj.) – referring to the sun
Example: Plants naturally need solar heat.

3. thermal /ˈθɜr məl/ (adj.) – concerning or caused by heat or high temperature
Example: Deserts have thermal consequences like dehydration.

4. scarce /skɛərs/ (adj.) – not enough
Example: Trees in our forests are now scarce because of illegal logging.

5. sustainability /səˌsteɪ nəˈbɪl ɪ ti/ (n.) – refers to a system that involves maintaining the resources
Example: Some areas, like wild forests and deserts, have environmental sustainability.


Read the text below.
Morocco’s [muh-ROK-oh] long-term plan to produce renewable energy is underway.

The country is investing to build five solar thermal power plants in five years. Through this project, the government hopes to supply Morocco’s growing energy consumption with solar energy.

Morocco plans to make use of solar energy as its main power source. Currently, Morocco’s oil and gas resources are scarce, with half of its energy source dependent on coal. The country will also enter a business trade of clean energy with Europe should the project succeed. The five power plants are estimated to produce a total of 2,000 megawatts.

Construction of the first solar energy plant, Nour [noor] 1, will start next year. The power plant will be built in Ouarzazate [war-za-zat], a desert city located in southern-central Morocco. According to specialists, Ouarzazate was chosen because of its environmental sustainability.

ACWA Power International, a Saudi Arabian power plant developer, will be managing the construction. Various international organizations including the World Bank will help fund the Nour 1 project. The single power plant is expected to have a production capacity of 160 megawatts.

Construction of the next two power plants will also start at the beginning of 2015. Aside from the project, Morocco is also venturing to develop a source of wind energy by building wind farms near its Atlantic coastline.

To educate and inspire support on the benefits of using solar power from its citizens, the government organized a solar festival. In this festival, Moroccans were informed of the value of the sun and its many environmental uses through science and the arts.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, what can be the advantages of shifting to renewable energy? Please explain your answer.
·         Would you want your country to shift to solar thermal power plants? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How do you think the world would be without electricity?
·         How do you think we can ensure sustainable energy resources?

January 12, 2015