By Tarik Elbarakah
By Tarik Elbarakah
Morocco World News
Agadir, September 1, 2012
The French wind-energy developer Theolia SA begins in the next few months the development of the first stage of its 300-megawatt project in Morocco.
Theolia SA signed in May 2011 an agreement with the Moroccan government to set up a two-phase wind project. The first phase will double the capacity at the company’s existing 50-megawatt in Tetouan, northern Morocco.
Morocco has become a mouth watering target to companies and firms from around the globe, especially the ones specializing in renewable energies industries, as Fady Khallouf, CEO of Theolia SA says,” the wind conditions combined with political support of the industry make of Morocco an attractive market”.
A noteworthy portion of Morocco’s efforts in the field of RE have gone into the development of wind energy, which currently accounts for 150 MW of installed capacity and is expected to reach 1554 MW by the end of this year.
The Moroccan Integrated Wind Energy Project is a part of Morocco’s strategy to support the development of renewable energy. Spanning over a period of 10 years with a total investment estimated at 31.5 billion Dirhams, this project enables the country to bring the installed capacity, from wind energy, from 280 MW in 2010 to 2000 MW in 2020.
The project benefits from resources mobilized under the frame of the Energy development Fund with an amount of 1 billion dollars, in the form of a donation from Saudi Arabia and UAE worth $ 500 and 300 million respectively and a contribution from the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development(200 million U.S).
The wind energy farms spread throughout the country are meant to increase the share of wind power in the national energy balance to 14 percent by 2020, achieve a production capacity from wind power of 2 GW and an annual production capacity of 6600 GWH, corresponding to 26 percent of current electricity generation. This project aims at saving annually 1.5 million tons of fuel, matching the sum of 750 million US dollars, and preventing the emission of 5.6 million tones of CO2 per year.
Morocco’s largest wind farm located in Tangiers, entered construction in 2009 and became operational in 2010.
In spite of the huge wind potentials that have been estimated at around 25000 MW, and a strategic location in the heart of an energy hub, Morocco will most likely need billions of Euros in investment and several years of feasibility studies to realize its pre-determined plans.
As a net energy importer, Morocco leaned in recent years into renewable energy as an alternative to cover the escalating costs of petrol in the world markets and to be liberated from its reliance on the external markets.
Morocco launched in Feb, 2008 the National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Plan; an ambitious strategy that will make it possible for Moroccans to meet 15 percent of their domestic needs of energy and increase the use of energy-saving methods.
Also, Morocco has established a 13 $ billion expansion plan of wind, solar and hydroelectric power that will generate 42 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.