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Morocco and the Future of Renewables in Africa

5 min.

Morocco and the Future of Renewables in Africa

For some time now, the country has been carrying out reforms and plans for the integral development of industry, infrastructure, agriculture and energy. Key words: environment and innovation, with renewables at the centre. Enel Green Power’s contribution to the construction of plants and in the process of energy market liberalisation.

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Little oil and gas, but lots of sun and wind ready to be transformed into clean energy. This is Morocco, the Mediterranean African country most focused on green sources to transform renewable energy into fuel for sustainable and lasting development.

The country, led by King Mohammed VI, has set ambitious goals for the development of renewables and, since 2015, has started a process to form an integrated system of policies, regulations and methods of investment that favour the development of photovoltaic and wind, in particular.

 

"Morocco already produces almost 3 GW of renewable power and aims to increase its production capacity from clean sources to 42% by 2020 and to 52% by 2030."

 

Environment and Innovation

Since 2000, Morocco’s GDP has more than doubled. In 2017, the economy grew by 4.1%: reforms and strategies aim to give shape to integral development of industry, infrastructure, agriculture, energy and to attract investments.

Some observers have invented the expression “Maghreb nouvelle vague” to describe the path undertaken by the country for some time now.

 

"Environment and innovation are two key words for the new Moroccan path, and it is a natural consequence that these guidelines come together in the development of renewable technologies."

 

The country is almost forced to choose renewables because of limiting conditions: poor in oil and gas, it wants to achieve greater energy independence by distancing itself from resource export levels that just 10 years ago, in 2008, forced it to import 98% of its energy.

Many elements demonstrate Morocco’s green choice. The country aims to lead Africa’s energy transition toward renewables, the first of the countries in the Mediterranean area.

Marrakesh, the country’s economic centre and international hub, is more and more frequently becoming the stage for events on the environment and renewables. The ancient imperial city is, for example, the location of Photovoltaica (13 - 15 February 2018), an international conference on renewable energy, now in its third edition, which aims to be a continental platform for solar development.

In 2017, Marrakesh also hosted COP 22, the UN summit on climate change, confirming the double role that the country is playing in the areas of renewables development and environmental protection policies.

 

Building a Green Path toward the Future

Enel Green Power is a key player in the integral development of renewables in the country, as it is committed to the increase of clean energy generation as well as to the development of an appropriate national regulatory system.

 

"EGP has been pre-awarded with the rights to construct five wind projects in Morocco, for a total of 850 megawatts, together with German group Siemens and the local company Nareva."

 

In Morocco, as part of a consortium with Siemens and the local company Nareva, EGP was assigned in 2016 the right to develop, design, finance, build, manage and maintain 5 five wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW projects. In 2018, EGP and Nareva have incorporated a Joint Venture that is completing  the Financial Close of the first wind farm (Midelt 180MW), whose construction should start by the year end.

The Project represents an important contribution to the development plan for Moroccan renewables that fits in with our efforts, in partnership with Res4Africa, to study the liberalization of the national electricity market.

In Morocco, we are bringing in the experience and skills we’ve acquired around the world, together with the awareness that renewables and innovation are key to the development of the country and all of Africa, which is increasingly becoming an open-air laboratory for clean energy and smart technological solutions.

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