How cables almost 2,500 miles long could bring solar power from Morocco to UK homes

There are hopes to build a solar wind farm in Morocco to generate power for the UK, ITV News Correspondent Lucy Watson reports

In Morocco, 2,500 hours of sunlight bake the Saharan sands every year, and every day, the wind blows.

A British company now wants to build a solar wind farm there to harness that power for use in the UK.

"You can generate three times more energy per square metre in Morocco than you could ever do in the UK," Sir Dave Lewis, chair of the XLinks project, explained.

Solar panels would generate the power in Morocco. It would then travel via four cables underwater - each cable would be nearly 4,000km long - passing Spain, Portugal, and France, before reaching the National Grid in Devon.

It would provide 8% of the UK's energy - that's for seven million homes.

In Morocco, 2,500 hours of sunlight bake the Saharan sands every year. Credit: ITV News

Sir Dave added: "Whilst we can and we should go faster in the removal of emissions from fossil fuels, progress is being made.

"The technology exists to replace that with renewable energy but we need to invest and probably invest quicker.

"The idea that we can lower the price of electricity in a renewable, sustainable way - we absolutely have got to be doing that."

The important role of the sun was underlined by Boris Johnson and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 climate conference as they came together to announce the first ever international network of global solar-power grids.

Morocco has been a forerunner in renewable energy technologies for the last decade. It has Noor, the largest solar power plant of its kind in the world.

But in a country of 35 million people, only two million currently gain from it. Yet, selling its energy abroad is still part of its government's strategy.