Morocco has a vision to make 52% of its energy production renewable by 2030.
Rabat – Morocco has a “fantastic” offshore wind resource “that is too attractive to ignore,” World Bank senior energy specialist Mark Leybourne said.
In a recent report about emerging markets of wind energy, Leybourne said that wind energy represents great potential for Morocco.
If the potential is exploited properly, Morocco could become one of the main energy exporters to the European market.
“This could bring substantial economic benefits, particularly if the European hydrogen market grows as predicted,” the expert said.
The Moroccan coast along the Atlantic Ocean has excellent wind speeds in shallow and deeper waters, the report emphasized. The conditions are suitable for offshore wind turbines.
The document highlighted various areas in Morocco’s western coast that are well-suited for fixed foundation offshore wind turbines, including the southernmost region of the country, which has the potential to generate 11 gigawatts (GW), and the central region, with a potential generation of 10 GW.
As for floating offshore wind turbines, there are several areas facing the western coast with waters up to 1,000 meters deep and with wind speeds reaching over nine meters per second. The regions have a total technical potential of 135 GW.
Meanwhile, floating wind turbines off Morocco’s northern coasts, in the Mediterranean, have the potential to generate 43 GW, Leybourne added.
The country already has access points to the electricity grid near the potential development areas. However, according to the report, the country should reinforce its infrastructure to transmit power to the regions of Rabat and Casablanca, which have high energy demands.
If Morocco were to develop offshore wind projects, it could sell energy to its European neighbors Spain and Portugal. The two countries have not yet deployed similar projects but are planning to do so, the report concluded.
Morocco’s renewable energy vision
The projects would not only let Morocco position itself on the European energy market, but would also bring it closer to its renewable energy goals.
Morocco aims to make 42% of its energy production renewable by the end of 2020 and increase the share of renewable energy to 52% in 2030.
At the end of 2019, Morocco’s renewable energy capacity reached 3,685 megawatts (MW), including 700 MW of solar energy, 1,215 MW of wind power, and 1,770 MW of hydroelectricity.
The country’s objective is to reach 6,000 MW renewable energy production before the end of 2020–a goal that is attainable, according to the Moroccan Agency for Renewable Energy (MASEN).
In January, the agency announced the upcoming 2020 launches of several solar energy and wind power projects.
Morocco’s renewable energy is currently produced by four solar plants and 11 wind power plants. The solar plant of Noor Ouarzazate has the highest capacity, with 580 MW. In the wind power sector, the Tarfaya plant has the highest capacity, with 301 MW.