Morocco, The New Promised Land For Renewable Energies – OpEd


Today, the Moroccan Press Agency reported that King Mohammed VI presided over a working session on the energy sector, mainly on the national program for renewable energy development, said a statement by the Royal Office.

On this occasion, HM the King recalled the importance of this major project which will enable Morocco to achieve energy autonomy and is in line with the Royal vision to make Morocco a leader in the field. The press agency added that during this working session, the sovereign took note of steps taken at the institutional level, via the promulgation of new laws governing MASEN, the ONEE and the ADEREE (national agency for development of renewable energy and energy efficiency), as issued this day in the Kingdom’s official bulletin.

Apparently, Morocco grasped the message quickly and started thinking seriously over the last decade of developing new energies that could put Morocco as a world leader in clean energies.

In an age of dwindling non-renewable resources, the race for what’s left is intensifying and could possibly lead to more wars and devastation. Switching to alternative forms of renewable energy is the way forward and those who get there first will most likely be the leaders of the future.

Many think of Morocco as an exceptional nation in the Arab and Muslim worlds; they do so because the country has its own unique history and charts its own political path, away from the turbulence that is engulfing other nations. It’s almost as if the laws governing the region do not apply to it.

But there is another way in which Morocco is rather exceptional. It is one of the few countries in the region without oil or gas. This has meant a more enterprising and creative population, but it also saddles the nation with colossal bills for energy. There are now hints that a different future is in the offing.

Morocco has made renewable energy a major part of its economic policy dural This policy is reflected in the ambitious solar energy whose implementation is provided by The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) is a leaf and road to the kingdom a global leader in the field in 2020.

Morocco now has raised its renewable energy target from 42 per cent by 2020 to 52 per cent by 2030. That 42 per cent will consist of 2 gigawatts each of solar, wind and hydropower.

Morocco’s limited hydrocarbon resources has pushed it to be a front-runner in the renewable energy race.

This major project is part of Morocco’s energy strategy drawn in accordance with the directives of King Mohammed VI and aims in particular to its establishment, in 2020, with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) from five sites identified, located respectively in Ouarzazate, Ain Bni Mathar, Foum Al Oued, Boujdour and Sebkhat Tah.

The project will, through the development of the solar potential, reduce energy dependence, the preservation of the environment, the limitation of emissions of greenhouse gazes and the fight against climate change. Ultimately, it will save fuel annually 1 million tons of oil equivalent and avoid the emission of 5.3 million tonnes of CO2. From a cost estimated at 9 billion, the Moroccan solar energy fits well in the context of Morocco’s energy policy whose major axes are strengthening the security of energy supply to through diversification of sources and resources, optimization of energy balance and control of capacity planning and universal access to energy by the availability of modern energy for all segments of the population and to competitive prices. Among these major axes, are also sustainable development through the promotion of renewable energies to strengthening the competitiveness of the productive sectors of the country, the preservation of the environment through the use of clean energy technologies for limiting emissions of gazes greenhouse and the reduction of high pressure on forest cover, and strengthening regional integration, particularly through opening markets Euro-Mediterranean energy.

In order to complete the implementation of the Moroccan Solar Plan, Masen is responsible for the design of integrated solar development projects in areas of the country able to house plants generating electricity from solar energy , projects including a solar power generation plant, as well as achievements and related activities contributing to the development of the settlement area and more generally in the country.

The agency’s objectives is also the development of technical, economic and financial resources for the qualification of sites, design the construction and operation of solar projects, contributing to the research and the mobilization of funds needed to implementation and operation of solar projects, the proposal in the administration of industrial integration methods for each solar project and its implementation. It also works for the construction of infrastructure for connecting the main central to the transmission of electricity, as well as the infrastructure to supply water to the subject matter duties devolved by legislation to any other body of law public or private, to promote the program to national and foreign investors, the contribution to the development of applied research and the promotion of technological innovation in filièrees solar electricity production, and the creation of networks specialized training in solar energy in partnership with engineering schools, universities and vocational training centers.

Thanks to its many strengths and its commitment to move forward in this area, Morocco puts itself as a major player in the global renewable energy required to form the one of the fundamental means for achieving the objectives of sustainable development.

Five years ago, Morocco launched its renewable energy law, which allows the development of private power production, permits investors to construct renewable energy projects and sell the electricity directly to customers.

The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy was also established with a mandate to implement the Moroccan Solar Plan that would invest €7.7 billion (Dh30.61bn) in several solar projects.

Morocco, which will host the next climate change conference COP 22 in November plans to derive more than half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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