Overcoming a series of delays, Morocco started up its Noor I solar project on February 4, marking what many observers call a new era for solar power in North Africa.
Located at the edge of Sahara Desert about 120 miles from Marrakesh, Noor I is a 160-megawatt concentrated-solar plant that uses half a million parabolic mirrors to focus sunlight to heat liquid that’s used to create steam to power turbines.
The project, which cost nearly $2 billion, was originally envisioned as part of the Desertec plan to build similar plants across the Sahara and export the electricity to Europe. But it collapsed in 2013 when the major European backers pulled out. Noor I is the first of three phases under a plan to create a massive solar complex, supplying 580 megawatts of solar capacity, that could be the biggest in the world when completed. It’s part of Morocco’s ambition to generate 42 percent of its power from wind and solar energy by 2020.
Although 600 million people across Africa lack access to reliable electricity, the continent is becoming “a testing ground for cutting-edge solar power,” according to Quartz—mostly in the form of small, distributed systems that supply lighting and some electricity to individual households. A report from the Overseas Development Institute, in the United Kingdom, finds that small-scale solar could supply affordable power to most Africans by 2030, while reducing the use of dirty diesel generators across the continent.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence
On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.