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Africa’s ‘First Fully Solar-Powered Village’ Is A Model For The Future

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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According to the International Energy Agency, solar power has the potential to become one of Africa’s top energy sources, and a small community near Morocco’s coast is being touted as Africa’s first completely solar-powered village.

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Not long ago, Id Mjahdi, a community located on the outskirts of the city of Essaouira, did not even have a nearby source of water, forcing girls to walk several miles to a well and often miss school. Today, the community is being pitched as a blueprint for how to fully power remote villages that would be expensive to connect to the national electricity grid.

“Morocco is unquestionably a leader in sustainable energy,” says Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA to CNN.

According to CNN, “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.”

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What’s most promising on a global scale is that this plan can easily be replicated for villages of 100 to 1,000 people, while being sustained by locals. “It is possible to duplicate anywhere in the world,” says Mohamed Lasry founder of Cleanergy the company responsible for the project. “It is not a complex system, it is easy to do, it is robust.”

With 650 million people across the globe still expected to lack access to electricity in 2030, the use of mini-grids could be the most cost-effective option for remote areas in need, and all eyes will be on this African community as a model for the future.

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