Morocco styles itself as a continental leader in renewable energy as its investment-friendly business environment wins the trust of world-leading firms.
Rabat – The minister of Energy, Mining, and Sustainable Development, Aziz Rabbah, underlined that Morocco has made notable development in the field of scientific research related to the energy sector, particularly renewable energy.
Rabbah made the remarks during a two-day press conference at Green Park Energy in Benguerir on Friday and at the Moroccan agency for Energetic Efficiency (AMEE) on Saturday.
He said that Morocco cannot keep investing in the energy field only to respond to the citizens’ needs without a national industry and scientific research.
The Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) allocated MAD 200 million for the creation of 17 scientific research and innovation laboratories in universities across the country, in addition to two startups, and five in the creation phase, according to Rabbah.
IRESEN also plans to further research, development, and innovation in the energy sector by allocating a portfolio of MAD 300 million for the co-financing of renewable energies collaborative projects and an extra MAD 500 million for new research infrastructure.
Rabbah added that Morocco’s advancement in the field, in addition to its strong potential, has prompted world-leading companies in the energy sector to put their faith in Morocco and contribute to developing its energy sector.
He declared that Morocco’s reliance on foreign countries for electricity reduced from 98 percent to 92 percent thanks to the national energy strategy adopted in 2009.
The strategy seeks to reduce the country’s energy consumption levels, which currently stand at an estimated at MAD 70 billion per year
The minister pointed out that 70 percent of scientific research funding comes from international development cooperation, with 15 percent coming from the national fund and the remaining percentage from other institutions.
Morocco’s achievement in the sector
Morocco emerged as a prominent example of a country that has put in place advanced policy frameworks in support of sustainable energy.
Over the past 20 years, Morocco has succeeded in providing electricity to 98 percent of the population. Before that, it was only 20 percent.
Approximately 28,000 small and medium farmers have adopted solar irrigation pump systems, which will help them reduce their electricity consumption bill.
The farmers have benefited from a 50 percent subvention for the installation of the photovoltaic panels while the irrigation system profited from a subvention ranging from 80 percent to 100 percent.
The financial aid has cost the government MAD 1 billion for the photovoltaics system and MAD 1.5 billion for irrigation.
Morocco produces 28,000-gigawatt per hour of electricity, with the rest being imported from Spain.
Rabbah pointed out the importance of raising awareness among Moroccans and companies about how to reduce electricity bill while sticking to the same consumption level.
He said that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has presented a MAD 1.2 billion project extended over three years to help companies reduce their energy bill.
Included in the EBRD bill’s portfolio are 260 projects, ranging from clinics, hotels, and small businesses.
The project involves changing electric cables and the way they are installed to be adapted to international standards. The concerned companies noticed a 20 percent decrease in their electric bill.