Renew. Energy Environ. Sustain.
Volume 6, 2021
Clean Energy and Low Waste
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||12 April 2021|
Impact study of NOOR 1 project on the Moroccan territorial economic development
Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences, Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco
2 National School of Business and Management, Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco
3 Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences Marrakech, Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 17 March 2021
Accepted: 19 March 2021
Morocco is one of the countries investing more and more in Renewable Energy (RE) technologies to meet the growing demand for energy and ensure the security of supply in this sector. The number of solar projects planned and implemented, as well as solar thermal projects in the form of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) installations is steadily increasing. Many of these installations are designed as large utility systems. In order to provide strong evidence on local, regional and even national impacts, this article examines the impacts of large-scale renewable energy projects on territorial development, based on a case study of the NOOR 1 (Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)) project in Ouarzazate, Morocco. The data collected during this study, conducted through semi-structured interviews with experts, stakeholders, local community representatives and combined with an analysis of documents provided by the NOOR 1 project managers, investors and consulting firms specialized in the field of Renewable Energy, provide detailed evidence on the type and magnitude of impacts on the economic development of the Moroccan southern region where the NOOR 1 plant is located. The data collected is analyzed using NVIVO software. The study results in a consolidated list of many impacts with varying levels of significance for different stakeholder groups, including farmers, youth, women, community representatives and small and medium firms owners. It should be noted that the importance of analyzing the economic impact of large infrastructure projects is widely recognized, but so far, there is little published in the academic and professional literature on the potential impacts of these projects at the local level. Even less information is available on the local impacts of large-scale project implementation in Morocco. While many macroeconomic studies have fed the recent surge in investment in RE projects with the promise of multiple social, economic, environmental, and even geopolitical benefits at the macro level, public debates and discussions have raised considerable doubts. The question of whether these promises would also leave their marks at the local level has also arisen. Despite these uncertainties, very few academics and practitioners have conducted research to empirically develop a good understanding of the impact of RE projects at the local level. To fill this research gap, the economic impact analysis of NOOR 1 provides a detailed empirical overview, which allows a better understanding of the effects that the infrastructure developments of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants can have on the economic environment in which they are located.
© A. Laaroussi et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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