It was quite strange to see all these ancient looking city walls out in the desert.
It soon became clear. They were film sets for the Moroccan film industry!
As we drove down from the Atlas mountains into the Sahara region we could see this great bright light on the horizon. It looked so bright even in the bright sunshine. It appeared to be a large tower far away with an incandescent structure on top – like some modernistic lighthouse.
It was Morocco’s most incredible $9 billion dollar solar energy project – producing enough electricity to power an entire city.
Built on an area of more than 3,000 hectares in area – the size of 3,500 football fields — the Noor-Ouarzazate complex, produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Prague, or twice the size of Marrakesh.
Thousands of mirrors focus heat on to the tower which houses salt. The intense heat actually melts the salt and the heat is used to generate electricity.
Not only that but when the sun goes in the tower can still generate electricity for a further three hours. Thus alleviates one of the problems of solar power (that it only works when the sun shines).
Morocco already produces 35% of all its electricity from solar and is aiming to increase that rapidly to 42%.
We just need the rest of the world to catch up!
It was quite an amazing sight – I just wish we could have gone closer!
It was great to see it along with some ruins from a bygone age – the future and the past clash: