If the project goes as planned, the joint electricity market would be the second-largest in the world.
Rabat – The Arab Ministerial Council for Electricity has finalized the legal text for establishing a joint electricity market in the Arab world.
In a recent video conference meeting, the council approved the final versions of two conventions: A general convention and a convention for the joint Arab electricity market.
Sixteen countries took part in the meeting and approved the convention, including Morocco. The Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, and the Environment, Aziz Rabbah, attended the meeting, alongside the electricity and energy ministers of other Arabic-speaking states.
During the meeting, participants called for internal coordination between national authorities to ratify the conventions before the end of 2020. If all governments respect the deadline, the joint electricity market project could see the light of day in 2021.
The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who chaired the meeting, said the conventions would complement the efforts that Arab states have made in the past two decades in the field of energy.
According to Aboul Gheit, if the project goes as planned, the joint Arab electricity market would be the second largest in the world, behind the European Union.
The project aims to achieve an energetic integration at the level of Arabic-speaking countries. It also hopes to put in place a framework for energetic trade and exchange in the Arab world.
According to the council, the joint Arab electricity market would have a positive economic, social, and environmental impact. It would also help in developing renewable energy production and create new jobs in Arabic-speaking countries.
An opportunity for Morocco
For Morocco, the joint Arab electricity market could be an opportunity to further boost its regional leadership in the energy field, especially as the country is currently a net electricity exporter.
In 2019, Morocco became a net electricity exporter for the first time ever. The country reduced its electricity imports by 93.5%, compared to 2018, and increased its exports by 670%.
Portugal and Spain are currently the main destinations of Moroccan electricity. However, a joint Arab market would give Morocco more export options.
Morocco reached self-sufficiency and became a net electricity exporter thanks to its inauguration of several power generation projects in 2019, such as the Safi thermal power plant.
Morocco currently has an electricity production capacity of nearly 3,700 megawatts (MW). The country aims to not only increase its electricity production, but also make it more sustainable.
By the end of 2020, Morocco aims to have renewable energy constitute 42% of its energy production. The share is expected to increase to 52% in 2030.