In Morocco’s High Atlas mountains, thousands of massive solar panels curve with the sun’s heat, gathering enough energy to power 650,000 homes, according to the World Economic Forum.

The collection of metal and glass is currently bigger than Paris.  

By 2020, it will able to power more than one million homes and its efficiency will keep increasing as Morocco develops new methods for harvesting energy.

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It’s part of the country’s ambitious goal of getting 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 58% by 2030, according to WEF.

The country currently received 36% of its energy from renewables, putting it far ahead of the majority of countries in the world.

Morocco and its backers, which include the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have already invested $9 billion into this particular project.

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The panels currently work by directing the sun’s rays onto a synthetic oil that runs through pipes to create a water vapor that moves a turbine, WEF reports.

In the future, they’ll direct the sun’s light toward a toward that contains molten salts capable of storing the heat.

Other countries are also betting big on solar power.

China, for instance, generates more than a quarter of the world’s solar power. India, meanwhile, is aiming to more than triple current solar production through a global coalition.

And 2017 was overall the best year ever for solar energy and the pace of installations are increasing. In fact, 70,000 solar panels will be installed each hour over the next five years.  

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Africa, in particular, is ripe for solar power investments and countries such as Rwanda, South Africa, and Ghana are investing in the technology, WEF notes

Morocco’s vast and growing farm in the Atlas Mountains shows that solar energy is the future.

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Defend the Planet

Morocco Has Built a Solar Farm as Big as Paris

By Joe McCarthy