Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has unveiled plans to develop a $9bn national solar power project with total capacity of 2,000MW.

This is equivalent to 38 per cent of the country’s current installed capacity.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2020 and will be set up on five sites across the kingdom. It will cover a total area of 100 square kilometres at Ouarzazate, Ain Beni Mathar, Foum al-Oued, Boujdour and Sebkhat Tah.

The first plant will be commissioned in 2015 and the last plant at the end of 2019.

The scheme will save 1 million tonnes of oil equivalent a year in energy. This is equivalent to $500m. It will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.7 billion tonnes a year.