Morocco's King Mohammed VI, who has been focussing majorly on renewable energy in his north African country, has been honoured by the Alliance to Save Energy in recognition of his "pioneering leadership in energy efficiency".
The monarch was awarded the Energy Efficiency Visionary Award at the Alliance's 10th Annual EE Global Forum in Washington last week.
"This award is recognition of His Majesty's efforts and commitments to promote energy efficiency, energy conservation and emissions reductions in all regions and all sectors whether public or private," said Said Mouline, CEO of the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE).
In an acceptance speech, read out by Morocco's Ambassador to the US Lalla Joumala Alaoui, the monarch promised "to keep up efforts at the national, regional and continental levels and do all I can to promote an environment conducive to the sustainable development of energy efficiency, renewable energy, technological innovation and green jobs in general".
"Our commitment in this field does not stop at Morocco's borders. This, I believe, is clearly reflected by the actions and projects I have launched within the framework of win-win partnerships, particularly with African sister nations," he said.
"This commitment was also quite clear at the COP22, which was successfully organised in Marrakech, and during which the Africa Action Summit was held, on my initiative, to harmonize the continent's action for the achievement of low carbon development," he said.
King Mohammed VI last month launched the fourth and final stage of the world's largest solar energy plant Noor Solar in Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara desert. Noor is the Arabic word for light. The first phase of the $9 billion project was launched in 2013, while the second and third phases were launched in 2016.
When completed in 2018, the desert solar power complex will have a 582 MW total capacity, enough to power 1.1 million homes.
The entire Noor project, when ready, will help reduce CO2 emissions by 760,000 tons a year and 17.5 million tons over 25 years, according to reports.
Morocco till 2013 imported almost 97 per cent of its energy needs. The north African country aims to get 52 per cent of its energy needs from renewables by 2030.
Morocco is also focusing on wind energy. It has set up the Tarfaya wind farm complex - said to be the largest in Africa - stretching more than 100 sq km across the Sahara desert, on the southern Atlantic coast.
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