AfDB logo
In the News | Apr 07 2016

With African Development Bank (AfDB) support, Kenya has received approval from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CIF-CTF) for a US $29.65-million concessional loan to co-finance up to two geothermal projects to increase the country’s power capacity, particularly drawing on untapped geothermal resources in the Rift Valley.

Concentrated Solar Power Plant Noor
In the News | Feb 08 2016

Morocco has switched on what will be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant.

The new site near the city of Ouarzazate -- famous as a filming location for Hollywood blockbusters like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator" -- could produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year, according to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) finance group.

In the News | Feb 05 2016

Concentrated Solar Power, or CSP, holds vast potential due to its ability to provide reliable, large-scale power even when the sun is not shining. Morocco has just launched the first phase of the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world, which includes funding from the Climate Investment Funds and the World Bank. When fully operational, the plant will produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccans.

Morocco CSP
In the News | Feb 05 2016

Morocco’s king will switch on the first phase of a concentrated solar power plant on Thursday that will become the world’s largest when completed.

In the News | Feb 05 2016

The first phase of North Africa’s largest solar-power complex was connected to the grid in Morocco, with a generating capacity of 160 megawatts.

Noor CSP
Press Release | Feb 03 2016

Available in French and Arabic

Ouarzazate, February 4, 2016 - Today, Morocco launches the first phase of the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world.  When fully operational, the plant will produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccan households.

Inaugurated officially today by His Majesty Mohammed VI of Morocco, the solar plant underlines the country’s determination to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, use more renewable energy, and move towards low carbon development.

The three-plant Noor-Ouarzazate CSP complex called NOORo expects to achieve over 500 megawatts (MW) installed capacity, ultimately supplying power to 1.1 million Moroccans by 2018. It is estimated that the plant will reduce the country’s energy dependence by about 2 and half million tons of oil, while also lowering carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year.

Concentrated solar power is such a promising technology that the International Energy Agency estimates that up to 11 percent of the world’s electricity generation in 2050 could come from CSP. This is especially true in the Middle East and North Africa, a region with abundant solar resources and high hopes of eventually helping to meet the E.U.’s demand for energy.

With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb, “the returns on this investment will be significant for the country and its people, by enhancing energy security, creating a cleaner environment, and encouraging new industries and job creation.”

Despite the potential of CSP, relatively high technology costs, when compared to fossil fuel alternatives, deter utilities from investing. Concessional and public financing were key to lift this project off the ground. The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy, the government agency focused on the country’s solar ambitions, secured over $3 billion needed for the Noor-Ouarzazate complex from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), European financing institutions and the World Bank.

“This launch shows that the low-cost, long-term financing provided by the CIF can serve as the spark that attracts the public and private investments needed to build massive CSP production facilities at an attractive cost for countries interested in developing solar energy,” said Mafalda Duarte, Head of the Climate Investment Funds.

Trailblazing projects on the African continent, like the Noor solar plant, are proving the performance of CSP. As well as the environmental benefits, the plant results in new, local jobs, and can lead to a high-performing sustainable energy economic sector for Morocco.

Yacine Fal, AfDB resident representative in Morocco, said: “Noor solar complex is part of the innovative operations of AfDB in the energy sector in terms of financing and technology. It stands to serve as an example for Africa and the world about how to create effective pathways to greener and more inclusive economies through renewable energy.


Please visit for more information.

Media Contacts:

African Development Bank

Climate Investment Funds

World Bank Group

In Morocco: Amina Haouas

In Washington DC: Angela Bekkers

In Morocco: Ibtissam Alaoui

Tel (Mob): +212 6 78 32 81 82

Tel: +1 202 458 8831

Tel: + (212)-537-544-200










NOOR Plant
Press Release | Feb 03 2016


The Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) complex is Morocco’s first utility-scale solar energy complex and serves as a critical step of the Moroccan Solar Energy Program. It will be operated as a public-private partnership (PPP.) The private partner is the International Company for Water and Power Projects.

The project seeks to contribute to the commercial viability of CSP and its potential throughout MENA (Middle East and North Africa). Operating with an installed capacity of 160 megawatts (MW), the first phase expects 240,000 tons of CO₂ emissions to be avoided per annum. By 2018, the three-phase project will be the largest of its kind in the world with over 500 MW of installed capacity, and will produce enough clean power to meet the needs of 1.1 million Moroccans. 


  • The plant will reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year, which could result in an estimated reduction of over 17.5 million tons of carbon emissions over 25 years.

  • The share of renewable energy in total electricity generation is expected to increase from 4,345 GWh (13%) in 2013 to a target of 5,501 GWh (42%) by 2020.

  • Energy dependency should be reduced through additional electricity production from the 160 MW Noor I and the 350 MW Noor II and III in 2018.

  • Reaching Morocco’s true energy efficiency potential will prospectively pave the way for economic growth and ultimately generate employment.


The project site is situated 10 km from Ouarzazate town along National Highway No. 10. The surrounding rural area accommodates a population of approximately 583,000 inhabitants and has a poverty rate of almost 23%. The project beneficiaries will be the Moroccan population, Moroccan businesses, and all productive sectors (industries, transport, agriculture, etc.), which benefit not only from better electricity supply but also from cleaner electricity.


The CIF, AfDB and World Bank have jointly supported the 500+MW Noor solar complex, which has been championed by Morocco’s Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN). The CIF channeled $435 million towards the CSP plant, alongside the investment of about $700 million by the AfDB and World Bank, contributing to the $3+ billion total from foreign and multilateral investors. Given the scale of public finance required to subsidize this multi-billion-dollar, three-phase complex, the support of both MDBs and the CIF was critical. Independent analysis concludes that the low-cost debt is already driving down the cost of CSP in Morocco by 25% for Noor I and an additional 10% for Noor II and III (achieved in 2015), thus reducing the government subsidy required to bridge the affordability gap for CSP.


Morocco is extremely dependent on energy imports and fossil fuels, which currently provide over 97% of its energy. The country has prioritized the development of renewable energy to achieve its economic and environmental objectives of energy security and environmental sustainability.

Morocco will host the next COP (COP22) in November 2016. The country's ambitious low carbon growth objectives (42% of installed capacity will be covered by renewables by 2020) and progress in adaptation actions to manage its vulnerability (especially in agriculture) contributed to the Parties’ decision to allow Morocco to host the COP.


The $8.1 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 72 developing countries with urgently needed resources to mitigate and manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2008, CIF has been leading efforts to empower transformations in energy, transport, and forestry sectors and CIF’s funding has leveraged more than $55 billion from other sources.

Please click here for added information.

For CIF media queries, please contact Angela Bekkers at

King Mohammed VI
In the News | Feb 03 2016

Noor I will eventually be the largest Concentrated Solar Power(CSP) plant in the world. This phase will be the first of three for the plant, which began construction in 2013, and by 2018 is predicted to supply 1.1 million Moroccans with 500 megawatts of energy. The plant will also reduce carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year.

Turkey’s geothermal energy
In the News | Jan 14 2016

To tap Turkey’s significant geothermal energy potential the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) are launching a programme to support exploratory drilling investments, the partners announced at the 35th Energy Efficiency Forum in Istanbul today.

Semey, East Kazakhstan
In the News | Jan 11 2016

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is continuing its programme of modernising the infrastructure of crucial public utilities in Kazakhstan in partnership with the central government and local authorities.