Renewable energy to account for 42% of power generation in Morocco by 2020

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Renewable energy to account for 42% of power generation in Morocco by 2020

Greentech Lead Africa: Renewable energy is expected to
account for 42 percent of power generation in Morocco by 2020.

Surging demand and a strong need to reduce dependency
from expensive coal and oil imports, have motivated the recent development of the
renewable energy sector.

The Moroccan electricity market has been growing steadily at nearly 6-8 percent
annually in the last ten years. This trend is expected to continue at about 5-7
percent for the next ten years, following GDP growth forecasts of 5.5 percent.

The country has embarked on an ambitious electricity generation capacity-build
program to raise installed capacity from 6,350 MW in 2010 to 14,500 MW by 2020,
as electricity consumption is expected to almost double in the corresponding

Investments will reach an estimated MAD 138 billion in new generation
infrastructure (2012-2020) and MAD 21.3 billion in network expansion
(2011-2015). Renewable energy should account for 18 percent of power generation
by 2012 and 42 percent by 2020.

“In an attempt to develop all energy resources available in the country, and to
reduce its dependence on imported coal, the Moroccan government has decided to
launch an ambitious wind and solar power program. This renewable energy program
aims to build 4,000 MW of additional capacity by 2020,” said Frost &
Sullivan’s Energy and Power Systems Research Analyst Celine Paton.

The Moroccan electricity market is developing rapidly, with substantial
investments planned in the next ten years, in order to follow steady demand
growth and eventually meet the export potential of green power to Europe, in
line with Article 9 of the E.U.

While the government’s plans are ambitious, it has struggled to meet targets in
the past. For instance, the reserve margin decreased to worrying levels in 2007
and 2008, due to significant delays in completing new generation facilities.
The commissioning of new facilities in 2009 and 2010, combined with an
expansion of the transit capacity between Morocco and Spain (inducing an
increase of electricity imports from Spain), has helped resolve the issue.

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