Morocco Moves From Fossil Fuels To Renewable Energy

The population of the Kingdom of Morocco is approximately 37.00 million people[1]. In 2018, 100% of the people in this North African country had access to electricity[2].

Morocco’s economy is ranked 7th in gross domestic product (GDP) among the fourteen countries in the Middle East and North Africa region[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on agriculture and mineral export including phosphates, barite, cobalt, and copper.

In 2018, Morocco’s state-owned utility, the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONNE) used renewable energy (33%), coal (31%), oil (25%), and natural gas (10%) to generate electricity in the country[4]. Hydropower, wind, and solar are the primary source of renewable energy in Morocco.

In 2016, Morocco signed the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to an unconditional 13% reduction on business as usual greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Morocco also committed a conditional 32% reduction in greenhouse gases subject to new sources of financing and increased support[5].

The Moroccan government’s energy strategy is to improve security of supply by reducing dependence on fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas) imports by increasing the use of renewable energy for electricity production. The country’s goal is to generate 52% of the country’s electricity from renewable energy.

Recent renewable energy projects in Morocco include:

  • 800 MW Solar Hybrid Project – The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) has begun work on the Noor Midelt concentrated solar power complex, located approximately 180 miles southeast of the capital, Rabat. The project is scheduled to be completed by year-end 2022.
  • 87 MW Wind Farm – French utility, EDF Renouvelables and Japanese multinational company, Mitsui have commenced work Taza wind farm, which is located in northern Morocco. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-end 2022.
  • 850 MW Wind Farm – Moroccan energy company, Nareva Holdings and Italian energy company, Enel have been awarded the tender to build the Boujdour wind project, located approximately 800 miles southwest of the capital, Rabat.

Although oil and natural gas prices have fallen precipitously over the past year, the economics of renewable energy to Morocco are compelling. Replacing oil and natural gas fueled power plants with wind and solar will save the government hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The move to renewable energy will also eliminate millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year as well.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

[1] Morocco Population (2020) –  September 17, 2020 www.worldometers.info

[2] Morocco – The World Bank Group

[3] The Heritage Foundation – Morocco

[4] Energy Morocco – export.gov, July 15, 2019

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges

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