Genesis Morocco: $336 Million Funding For Desertec's Moroccan Sahara Solar Dream

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Saturday, June 9, 2012    <<Home

$336 Million Funding For Desertec's Moroccan Sahara Solar Dream

Bankers met recently to give the go ahead for $336 million of funding for a massive solar project in the Moroccan desert, which the consortium behind it claim could one day supply power to all of North Africa and part of Europe.

Personal Notes : The African Development bank is doing an outstanding work. They recently participated to the 6th Economic Conference in Addis Abeba. where experts called for major structural transformation of African economies.

This new investment demonstrates their willingness to endow Africa with the necessary energy infrastructure for it to be able to develop its full potential, be it  energy plants, or grid infrastructure. 

Below you will find the bio of Donald Kaberuka Head of the AfBD, and the facto one of Africa's leading figures. Undoubtedly this institution had an increasingly larger international profile in the last five years, a period that coincided with his nomination.  

Its his second term in office, and perhaps his tenure will prove out to be one of the most successful in the Banks history. 

Article below by 

The Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) met in the Tunisian capital Tunis to approve the funding for a solar-thermal power plant near to Ouarzazate.

The money will go towards the first phase of the project, which will see the construction of a solar installation with a capacity of 160 megawatts. Desertec, as the project is known, will then be expanded so that by 2015 the plant will generate a total of 500 megawatts (MW).

However, with an estimated cost of around $1.25 billion the AfDB loan will be a long way off paying for the entire project. 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, as well as some Moroccan institutions.

The AfDB statement said the power plant would "pioneer the development of concentrated solar power technology," or CSP. The CSP will be arrayed in parabolic trough mirrors around a central tower filled with fluid material, to generate 160MW in the first phase. The project will become one of the largest solar power projects in the world at full expansion.

A consortium of companies and organizations called Dii is promoting Desertec. According to climate scientist Ernst Rauch of Munich Re, a German reinsurer which is part of the consortium, the project has ambitions well beyond even the 500 MW of the second phase.

Reuters reported that Rauch told a German newspaper that the plant would ultimately grow to 500 MW, but even at that would be just a small piece of Desertec's planned puzzle: It aims to supply nearly 100 percent of power demand in the Middle East and North African countries, as well as 15 percent of Europe's energy, by 2050.

These rather incredible claims may not of course reflect the views of Rauch's consortium partners. Even so, the intense sunlight of the Sahara desert, where the project will be sited will certainly allow for increased capture of solar energy.

"In North Africa and the Middle East the average solar radiation is twice as high as in central Europe," backers say on the Dii site.

The Ouarzazate plant is the first stage in the Morocco's $9 billion national Solar Power Plan. Launched two years ago by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), the ambitious plan aims to deploy 2000MW of solar power generation capacity across the kingdom by 2020.

"The Ouarzazate first phase is a key milestone for the success of the Moroccan solar program. While answering both energy and environmental concerns, it will pave the way for the implementation of the regional initiatives sharing the same vision," MASEN President Mustapha Bakkoury said in a statement.

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Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank

Mr. Donald Kaberuka is currently serving his second five-year term as President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). He was first elected in 2005, becoming the seventh president of the Bank Group since its establishment in 1963. 

 He was re-elected in May 2010 at the AfDB’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for a second five-year term. He took the oath for his second term in September of that year in Tunis, the Bank’s current temporary relocation city. The Bank moved temporarily from Abidjan in 2003 due to the security situation there. 

 Before joining the African Development Bank, Mr. Kaberuka, 60, had a distinguished career in banking, international trade and development and government service A national of Rwanda, he was the country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning between 1997 and 2005. During this period, he oversaw Rwanda’s successful economic reconstruction after the end of the civil war there.
He initiated and implemented major economic reforms and introduced new systems of structural, monetary and fiscal governance, laying special emphasis on the independence of Rwanda’s central bank. 

These reforms led to the widely-recognized revival of Rwanda’s economy, and to the sustained economic growth that enabled Rwanda to obtain debt cancellation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative in April 2005. 

 During his service at the AfDB, Mr Kaberuka has presided over a major redirection in its strategy for development and poverty reduction in Africa. To that end, the AfDB has placed increased emphasis on the private sector, and on the importance of major infrastructure developments in areas such as road, railways, power plants and communications, especially in their role in promoting regional integration in Africa. 

 During Mr Kaberuka’s period of office, the AfDB has become Africa’s premier financial institution. In 2009, in response to the global financial crisis, the African Development Bank Group made record approvals of loans and grants totaling more than USD 12.6 billion. 

 Donald Kaberuka was educated at universities in Tanzania and Scotland. He holds a PhD in Economics from Glasgow University.

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