“A concept change that, in practice, opens the doors to international operators and new investments for the sustainable development of Africa. This year’s event was marked by the strong presence of many countries from the continent, especially francophone ones: Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda and Senegal.”
The objective of this edition, entitled ‘Toward Sustainable Development in Africa', was to make Photovoltaica "a platform for exchange and sharing with African countries and to create a relationship hub in the investor’s market", according to Ahmed Baroudi, director of SIE (Energy Investment Society), one of the event’s organisers.
Italy played a key role in the event: presenters included RES4MED, the platform for renewables promotion in the Mediterranean, RES4Africa and Enel Green Power, with its study of the liberalization of the Moroccan electricity market.
This new path is also supported by King Mohammed VI, who has designed a development plan based on four pillars: socioeconomic, environmental, social and cultural. When fully in force, the programme will allow Morocco to save up to 6 percentage points of the GDP, compared to a gross expenditure of 2% and to go from the current 34% of production capacity from clean sources to 42% by 2020 and to 52% in 2030. There is still much to be done for energy independence and renewables development.
A road map for the full liberalization of the electricity market
In 1994, Morocco launched a long process of energy market reform, which has suffered various setbacks due to some of the country’s structural limitations: absence of a clear regulatory framework, a lack of infrastructure, limited competitiveness.
To speed up this evolution and favour the integration of renewables resources on the medium-voltage grid in Morocco, a study conducted by RES4MED and Pöyry, an international consulting and engineering company, with the help of Enel Green Power, was presented on the Photovoltaica stage.
“We wanted to contribute to the liberalization of the Moroccan electricity market. Together with RES4MED and Enel Green Power, we have designed a road map to attract foreign investors for the construction of large plants as well as for the full development of distributed generation.”
Specifically, Enel Green Power, represented at the event by Lamberto Dai Prà, Head of the area Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Australia, will provide Morocco and all of Africa with its knowhow and experience gained around the world, committing to the growth of clean energy generation and to the development of an adequate national regulatory system.
Renewable sources as a harbinger of peace
We don’t often consider the geopolitical implications that renewables could have in a geographical area dominated by tension. Green sources are factors of stabilization and conflict prevention. The Moroccan energy minister emphasised this at the conference in Marrakesh.
“Renewable sources are a political choice and, unlike fossil fuels, they are sources of peace. Morocco intends to be a leading country within the African Union and has grand industrial ambitions, also as a producer of systems and components for power plants using renewable sources.”
With our presence in Africa, we hope to contribute to the transition toward a new model of industrialisation based on clean energy.
Currently, we have been pre-assigned the construction of five wind projects in Morocco for a total of 850 MW, together with the German group Siemens and the local company NAREVA. With these partners, we will deal with all the phases, from design to maintenance, of five projects located in the south of the country, with the hope of ensuring energy access to all and helping with the development of Africa as a whole.