ACWA Power Official Partner at COP22

COP22, the first gathering of nations to assess the progress being made to address climate change after inking an accord at Paris in November 2015, begins tomorrow at Marrakesh. Whilst several governments around the world have yet to ratify that Paris agreement, the MENA region is leading the way, establishing new tariff levels for renewable energy and setting ambitious targets, actioning commitments which embrace the deployment of renewable energy as not only a tool for decarbonizing power generation but also as a vehicle for enduring social development and economic growth.

Host country Morocco plans to derive more than half its energy from renewables by 2030 while Dubai is aiming to limit fossil fuel generation to just 25% by 2050 and its GCC neighbour Saudi Arabia, a country that had only 25 MW of renewable energy generation capacity installed at the end of 2015, plans to increase that figure to 9.5 GW by 2023 within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, an ambitious strategy to reposition it's entire economy to reduce its dependence on liquid fuels.

Just 200kms away from Marrakesh, over the Atlas mountains at Ouarzazate, ACWA Power, one of the conference's official sponsors and a developer, investor and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants, inaugurated the NOORo1 CSP solar power plant earlier this year which is dispatching 160 MWs of green electrons during the day and for three hours into the night even after sunset. It is also at this location ACWA Power together with its partner Masen, the Moroccan Renewable Energy Agency, is well into construction of two more CSP plants, one 200 MW with 7.2 hours storage and 150 MW with eight-hours storage. 

As part of its involvement at COP22, ACWA Power will be contributing to a number of different panels, on topics as wide-ranging as what it takes to accelerate RE investments, why it is essential, particularly in emerging economies, to create a multiplier effect beyond green MWs to capture the full value of moving away from fossil fuel based power generation and the importance of investing back into the local community. Its commitment to the community, and the region of Ouarzazate in particular, will also be on display throughout the conference. The company, which currently has more than 1 GW of renewable energy in its portfolio, is also arranging a local craft fair and festivities that aim to help local residents promote the rich culture of this region.

The fair will gather more than 50 local and regional cooperatives and intends to offer local craftsmen the opportunity to exhibit and sell their products to visitors and participants of the COP22 who we hope will also be taking the opportunity of being in the vicinity to visit Ouarzazate and see the NOORo1 solar power plant and the two gigantic construction sites of NOORo2 and NOORo3.

Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power said: "It is imperative that the commitment from COP21 translates into long-term policies which are implemented to ensure that future generations will benefit from a cleaner, and more sustainable, energy supply. We have pushed ahead to embark on pace-setting projects across several different sectors. But in order to do so, we had to seek out forward-thinking governments."

"The Kingdom of Morocco has shown itself to be a pioneer of renewable energies, thanks to the innovative vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, who enabled the implementation of the foundation of a green economy founded on efficiency, energy security and a value creating public-private partnership to deploy renewable solar, wind and water energy."

"Now more than ever we need to keep our attention on further reducing cost, broadening application and business models and take advantage of these large scale deployments to truly contribute to industrialization and job creation, thus looking to deliver more than just green electrons," he concluded.

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