The two states are connected to each other by submarine cables using high voltage direct current transmission. The British will cover eight percent of their electricity needs in the future.
In a few years, the UK will get about 8% of its electricity from Morocco. In the state of Guelmim-Oued Noun, in the south of the North African country, with an area of 1500 km2 Photovoltaic systems and wind generators have been installed with a maximum production capacity of 10.5 GW. Solar energy systems alone occupy an area of 200 km2. Due to the high level of solar radiation there, the solar energy yield per unit area is twice that of Central Europe and still 20% higher than the sunny areas of Spain.
20 GWh storage batteries
Part of the electricity is stored in a huge battery system. It can absorb 20 gigawatts per hour and is used to plug blackouts caused by the rare lulls on the west coast of North Africa and darkness. The plan is to deliver 3.5 gigawatts of electricity over 20 hours a day. In low-consuming night hours, except in exceptional cases, electricity must not be supplied from Morocco.
Enough space for wind and solar power plants in Germany
New nuclear power plant saves less
This output is slightly higher than the two blocks of new nuclear power plants being built at Hinkley Point, UK. They total 3.26 gigawatts. According to current estimates, it will start operation in 2026. The construction costs of 26 billion euros correspond to the costs of the energy project between Morocco and the United Kingdom, as the ambitious project is called.
The length of the submarine cable is 3800 km
Green electricity is transmitted from Morocco to Great Britain via an underwater cable. For this purpose, the generated electricity is first converted into high voltage direct current. It is conceivable from 600,000 to 1,000,000 volts – the final decision is still pending. At distances of more than 750 km, losses in high-voltage direct current transmission are less than in three-phase current transmission. The length of the cable between Morocco and Great Britain is 3800 km and largely meets this requirement. At its destination in the county of Devon in southwest England, the electricity is diverted back so that it can be fed into the high voltage grid.
More than 50 percent of green electricity
As of 2019, the UK produced more than 50% of carbon-neutral electricity. However, the country has two problems. The times in which the country’s solar power plants produce electricity are getting shorter and shorter as winter approaches. There are lulls that hit the British even harder. After all, wind power is the most important feeder to the grid after nuclear power. As in Germany, storage facilities in which excess electricity can be stored are nowhere sufficient. In contrast, the Maghrib sun shines for more than ten hours a day, even in winter.
Neighbors benefit from green German electricity
The largest solar thermal power plant in the world
Morocco has developed into a leading international user of renewable energies over the past ten years. The country has been one of the leaders in large innovative projects such as the Noor Ouarzazate complex, which houses the world’s largest solar thermal power plant with a current production of 510 MW. It was partially financed by Germany through the KfW Banking Group in Frankfurt. In addition, the country has put in place a strong legal framework to encourage investment in renewable energy.
Communications of the power of Great Britain with the mainland
The UK is already connected to Norway by a 1.4 GW submarine cable that is 100% hydroelectric. A cable with the same strength in the future will connect the substations of the Isle of Green in southeast Great Britain and Fedorden in Wilhelmshaven, which could supply Great Britain with excess wind power. The UK can also exchange electricity with France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Next week you will read how the densely populated city of Singapore will cover 20% of its electricity needs using wind and solar power.
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