Caspian Energy Journal Caspian European Club
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 18:00

Alternative energy accounts for 34% of Moroccan energy mix Featured

Caspian Energy (CE): Could you please tell us about the current development of the alternative energy sector in Morocco? Is the sector a priority for the government?

Mustapha BAKKOURY, Chairman of the Board of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN): The renewable energy sector is indeed a priority for the Kingdom.

On the initiative of HM the King, an energy strategy was designed and implemented to support the economic dynamic that Morocco is experiencing, resulting in particular growth in energy demand.

As a result, electricity consumption has grown steadily and continuously for almost 20 years. This rise in demand comes up against the background of Morocco's important energy dependency and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel prices on international markets.

With a strong renewable energy potential, and driven by a strong desire to be a part of the sustainable growth dynamic, Morocco has made the choice in favor of renewable energy, and targets the objective of 52% of the energy mix from renewable sources by 2030.

This target will contribute significantly to Morocco’s targets for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, through to avoid 9.3 million emissions.

CE : Which incentives for the private sector are currently in place and which incentives are planned to boost the development of this sector ?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: Morocco benefits from political stability and an advantageous macroeconomic framework for development and growth. The quality of its infrastructure and the incentives set in place have made the Kingdom a prime destination for investment.

In the renewable energy sector in particular, Morocco has put in place a legislative, regulatory and institutional framework conducive to the development of renewable electricity generation projects as well as services and industrial activities that are related to it.

CE: Which renewable energy sources are the most cost-effective in Morocco ?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: A high-performance energy system is one that offers affordable, sustainable electricity that is adapted to the needs of consumers and economic actors. Such composition is generally based on a diversification of production sources and an optimization of complementarities between different technologies. The optimization of the cost is therefore at the scale of the energy portfolio.

The Kingdom is working to develop a diversified energy mix in order to have competitive energy. After developing hydropower infrastructure, Morocco has started the construction and operation of several solar and wind power plants, which thanks to an optimal financial structuring and technical design have enabled our country to score very competitive rates worldwide.

CE: Which projects are planned to secure an increase in the share of renewable energy sources to 52% by 2030?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: The Moroccan energy mix has a current capacity of 34% of renewable sources. Tangibly, this represents:

895 MW are in operation through 9 wind farms;29 dams and WWTPs have an installed capacity of 1,770 MW; and 1,700 MW are engaged in solar energy, at the sites of Ouarzazate, Laayoune, Boujdour.

Other projects will be implemented very soon, including the 850 MW Integrated Wind Project, Noor Midelt, with a capacity of more than 800 MW, and other projects that are under study.

CE: What is the size of investment, which has been already contributed to this sector? What is the amount of investment do you still plan to make ?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: In terms of investment we have invested nearly 25 billion MAD for solar projects distributed as follows:

-        Noor Ouarzazate I: about 7 000 million MAD

-        Noor Ouarzazate II: MAD 9,218 million

-        Noor Ouarzazate III: 7,180 Million MAD

-        Noor Ouarzazate IV: +750 Million MAD

-        Noor Laayoune: +950 Millions MAD

-        Noor Boujdour: +300 million MAD

For wind energy, the 850 MW Integrated Wind Project will be invested by MAD 11 billion.

CE: Which technologies are used in these projects ?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: Masen is agnostic in terms of technology, which means Masen is not confined to a single technology. The Group develops different technologies in order to  meet the specific needs of the grid, at the most competitive price.

For solar, we use both thermal and photovoltaic technologies: CSP with cylindro-parabolic mirrors at Noor Ouarzazate I and II, CSP tower at Noor Ouarzazate III and PV at Noor PV I (Noor Ouarzazate IV, Noor Laayoune and Noor Boujdour) .

CE: Could you please tell about the plans on development of this sector in other African countries, which have already a high potential?

Mustapha BAKKOURY: The African energy context presents a limited electricity production for a growing demand. The Moroccan know-how in renewable energies, developed by Masen, is therefore useful to the African challenges.

The Kingdom intends to share its experience and know-how in the development of renewable energies with other African Countries. Therefore, Masen has signed 13 memoranda of understanding, namely with: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Senegal and Tunisia.

Thank you for the interview


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