Morocco has the first solar-powered village in Africa

The tiny community of Id Mjahdi near Morocco's sunny Atlantic coast is Africa's first completely solar-powered village.

Morocco already meets 35 percent of its electricity needs from renewables and aims to increase its use of renewable energy to 52 percent by 2030. The country already has the world's largest solar farm, the Noor-Ouarzazate complex. Id Mjahdi uses solar electricity for all its energy needs. Before, villagers relied on candles for light, and they typically could afford only around an hour of candlelight for working or studying in the evenings. Now, each house in the village was provided with a fridge, water heater, television, oven and an outlet to charge devices.

Solar pannels in Id Mjahdi

People in the village produce argan oil. "People that were not working at all and not having any sustainable revenue, the fact that they are working in their village and creating value is very important and very, very valuable," says Fatima El Khalifa, from Cluster Solaire. The energetic system can be replicate for villages of 100 to 1,000 people, and it is sustainable, because locals can maintain it themselves. There are 800 villages without electricity in Morocco. The World Bank estimates that 840 million people lack access to electricity worldwide.