Morocco aims to generate 52% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2030 through the National Energy Strategy, adopted in 2009.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Energy, Mining, and Environment, Aziz Rabbah, said on Friday the new agreement with Germany on the development of the green hydrogen sector will help accelerate Morocco’s transition to renewable energy.
“Cooperation in the ‘Power to X’ sector, which is part of the Moroccan-German energy partnership, will contribute to the acceleration of the national energy transition and the implementation of Morocco’s climate commitments,” Rabbah told reporters on June 12 in Rabat.
The minister emphasized the fundamental role of developing the green hydrogen sector in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, and preserving the environment.
“Morocco will benefit from this cooperation in various sectors, such as transport, industry, and mining,” he remarked, stressing his department’s will to implement research and investment projects in the use of hydrogen with Germany.
Rabbah underlined Morocco’s expertise in the field of renewable energies, saying, “Morocco is currently among the countries that excel in the field of renewable energies development.”
The Moroccan-German hydrogen agreement signed on June 10 in Berlin aims to improve the framework conditions for the production and use of hydrogen, set up the necessary supply structures, and advance scientific research and innovation.
Under the agreement, both countries commit to joining efforts to establish two projects as part of the two countries’ economic cooperation.
The first “Power-to-X” project focuses on the production of green hydrogen. The second project calls for the establishment of a research platform on “Power-to-X” to promote knowledge transfer and skills building.
Morocco’s investment in the energy sector
In April 2019, Rabbah stated that IRESEN allocated MAD 200 million ($20.73 million) for the creation of 17 scientific research and innovation laboratories in universities across the country. The funds also went towards the establishment of two startups and supported five startups in the creation phase, according to Rabbah.
IRESEN also plans to advance research, development, and innovation in the Moroccan energy sector by allocating MAD 300 million ($31.10 million) for the co-financing of renewable energies collaborative projects and MAD 500 million ($51.83 million) for new research infrastructure.
Approximately 70% of scientific research comes from international development cooperation, 15% comes from the national fund and the remaining percentage from other institutions.
In 2009, Morocco’s National Energy Strategy (NES) adopted an agreement to reduce its reliance on foreign countries for electricity. The agreement aims to lower the country’s energy bill, which currently stands at MAD 70 billion ($7.26 billion). As of April 2019, Morocco’s energy imports have decreased from 98% to 92%, but the North African country remains a net importer of energy.
Morocco’s achievements in the field
Over the past 20 years, Morocco has succeeded in increasing its electricity services from covering 20% of the population to 98%.
Approximately 28,000 small- and medium-sized farms have adopted solar irrigation pump systems, which serve to reduce electricity consumption bills.
To this aim, the Moroccan government allocated MAD 1 billion ($103.7 million) to grant a 50% subvention to farmers to install the photovoltaic panels and a further MAD 1.5 billion ($155.5 million) to provide subvention ranging from 80-100% for the irrigation system.
Thanks to the country’s commitment to the shift towards environment-friendly policies and green energy investments, Morocco has secured strategic energy partnerships with international partners, notably the Moroccan-German Energy Partnership (PAREMA) in 2012.
With an allocated budget of MAD 20 billion ($2.07 billion), PAREMA commits the two countries to the exchange of best practices and expertise to accelerate their energy transitions.
Although Morocco and Germany lead the energy sectors on their respective continents, they both depend on electricity imports to meet their domestic needs.
Morocco has worked towards lowering its energy imports by heavily investing in solar energy.
Morocco is home to one of the world’s largest solar plants, the Noor Ouarzazate project. The Noor Ouarzazate complex spans an area of more than 3,000 hectares and required an investment of $400 million in loans from the World Bank and an additional $216 million from the Clean Technology Fund.
Another ongoing solar project, Noor Midelt I, acquired $832.46 million from different partners for its construction.
Morocco aims to generate 52% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2030.