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By Gawdat Bahgat (auth.)

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Compagnie Eolienne du Detroit, a subsidiary of the French company Tholia, was in charge of constructing the farm. It generates about 1 per cent of the national annual electricity consumption. Lafarge Wind Farm was built between 2005 and 2009 by the cement company Lafarge for the electricity supply of its factory near Tetouan. Any excess power not consumed by the Lafarge factory is fed into the national grid. Amogdoul Wind Farm came online in April 2007. It is located in Cap Sim south of Essaouira.

6 The electricity sector illustrates the challenges (and opportunities) facing the broader national energy strategy. For a long time the rural population did not enjoy the convenience of electricity available in major urban centres. In 1995 the rate of rural electrification was only 18 per cent. In 1996 the National Electricity Office (ONE) launched a national electrification program known as Programme pour L’Electrification Rurale Global. 7 This success underscores the approximately 8 per cent annual increase in electricity demand nationwide.

Furthermore, the site is far from any protected natural or touristic areas and away from any population centres. In other words, the project will cause very few land-use conflicts because it is currently used as grazing land with very little pasture. 31 These plants will use cutting-edge design, combining a large array of parabolic mirror collectors concentrating sun energy and boosting the steam output needed to produce electricity. 32 According to Amina Benkhadra, Minister of Energy, Mining, Water, and Environment, the production capacity represents 38 per cent of the installed power by late 2008 and 14 per cent of the electric power by 2020.

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