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Morocco’s Noor: Capturing the sun to bring light

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Morocco Noor

Casablanca, April 17 : Four years ago, Morocco imported 93 percent of its energy needs. By 2030, it hopes to get 52 per cent from renewables. Just how serious the country is about solar power comes across loud and clear to visitors as soon as one crosses the Mohamed V International Airport here.

Large solar panels along the road and street lights topped with solar panels line the way for a few miles — highlighting how the north African nation is moving firmly ahead in its mission to become a solar superpower.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI earlier this month launched the fourth and final phase 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 capacity, enough to power 1.1 million homes — and would measure the size of capital Rabat.

Morocco’s leadership in renewable energy was highlighted at last month’s Crans Montana Forum where Said Moufti, Research Director of the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies, pointed out that solar and wind power plants had been set up all over the southern provinces. “Morocco is showing by way of example,” he said.

The first phase of Noor, which was commissioned in February 2016, uses 500,000 curved mirrors spread over thousands of acres of desert to generate up to 160 MW, making it one of the world’s biggest solar thermal power plants.

The mirrors are part of technology called concentrated solar power (CSP). The 39-foot-tall parabolic mirrors focus the sun’s energy to heat fluid in pipelines, which when mixed with water, produces steam to drive a turbine.

This system can store power after the sun goes down and generate power at night.

While Phases II and III are also CSP projects, Noor IV, the final phase, uses photovoltaic (PV) technology to produce electricity.

The entire Noor project, when ready, will help reduce CO2 emissions by 760,000 tonnes a year and by 17.5 million tonnes over 25 years, according to reports.

Morocco’s stress on renewable energy will not only help the country reduce its energy imports, but also generate revenue from exporting energy across the Mediterranean to Europe and to its neighbours in Africa.

Morocco, a country of 33 million people, is the only African country with a power cable link to Europe.

The stress on renewable energy will also create jobs.

Morocco currently employs about 3,000 people in the renewable energy sector. According to a study by the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Institutes of Economic Sciences (FEMISE), the country is expected to create between 270,000 and 500,000 new green jobs by 2040.

The report was released at the COP22 held in Marrakech last year.

The Noor project is being developed on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis by ACWA Power Ouarzazate, a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), Aries and TSK.

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.

(The writer was in Morocco at the invitation of the Crans Montana Forum. Ranjana Narayan can be reached at [email protected])

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Paytm testing ‘Face Login’ feature

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Pay tm

New Delhi, Sep 24: To further secure its platform, digital payments company Paytm on Monday said it is testing a new “Face Login” feature on its Android beta app.

According to One97 Communications, that owns the brand Paytm, the new feature will enable users to log in to their app by simply looking at their phone.

This will be an important security update for Paytm users that is designed to prevent phishing attacks by providing an additional security layer of biometric security, the company said in a statement.

“Our team is currently working on enhancing our proprietary algorithms to make it more intuitive for users. This will make accessing Paytm account even simpler and faster, prevent phishing attacks and offer instant access on the go,” said Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President-Paytm.

The company has tested this feature extensively with over 10,000 distinct faces and witnessed nearly 100 per cent accuracy. To achieve this, the app maps over 200 distinct parameters on the human face for high accuracy.

IANS

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Motorola One Power with 5,000mAh Battery Launched; Check Price, Specifications

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Motorola one power

New Delhi, Sep 24: Motorola on Monday launched its first Android One device “Motorola One Power” with a 5000 mAh battery in the Indian market.

Motorola One Power price in India:

The Motorola One Power price in India has been set as Rs. 15,999 and the handset comes in only one configuration – 64GB internal storage and 4GB of RAM. The device will be available from October 5 on Flipkart.

Jio customers can get benefits up to Rs 4,450 (applicable on Rs 198 and Rs 299 plans) while purchasing the device.

Motorola One Power specifications: 

Android One means the device will have the latest Android version and regular security updates. The device with Android Oreo 8.1 OS comes with 6.2 inch 19:9 Max Vision Full HD+ display.

“The Indian market will be a key focus for us in our value portfolio (Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000),” Prashanth Mani, Managing Director, Motorola Mobility India, told reporters here.

“With this device, stay powered longer with up to two days of battery life so you can watch your favourite movie while travelling and get up to six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes with the included ‘TurboPower’ charge,” the company added.

There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 1.8GHz octa-core processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB built-in storage that can be expanded up to 256GB.

The smartphone has 16MP+5MP dual rear camera system along with a 12MP front camera.

The primary camera comes with integrated Google Lens that helps in recognising and searching about the objects that users come across.

The Motorola One Power also has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

WeForNews

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3 Indian women selected as Facebook global community leaders

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Facebook live

New Delhi, Sep 24 : Adhunika Prakash, who founded non-profit Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms in Pune, was on Monday selected among five global leaders for $1 million award each by Facebook as part of its Community Leadership Programme.

Apart from Prakash, Chetana Misra who founded Mompreneurs India and Tamanna Dhamija who created Baby Destination were awarded $50,000 in fellowship each, as the social media giant selected community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participants from over 6,000 applicants across the world, Facebook said in a statement on Monday.

Selected for facebook’s in residence award, Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms is a peer-to-peer support group primarily for breastfeeding parents. The group has more than 80,000 people from across the country.

She aims to work with hospitals in India to help train and support parents, particularly in rural areas.

Mumbai-based Mompreneurs India is a community of like-minded women, allowing them to network, share knowledge and contacts, and benefit from partnerships to start a business and take it online.

New Delhi-based Baby Destination helps mothers exchange information and support one another.

“While speaking with the community leaders, we discovered that lack of training, support and funds are common obstacles to having the kind of positive impact on their communities that these leaders envision,” said Facebook.

The three leaders are among 115 people who have been selected into the programme as community leaders in residence, fellows and youth participant to work for community resilience or issues, civic engagement health and wellness parenting education.

“At select points over the next year, the participants will spend time at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park (California), working with the team to help develop their community initiatives,” Facebook noted.

Launched in February this year, the programme is designed to enable extraordinary leaders advance their initiatives and build stronger communities through the social networking giant’s family of apps and services.

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