Following the signing of a first agreement in December 2020 between Morocco and Israel aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries in several sectors - including renewable energy - in mid-August, two Israeli energy companies, Enlight Renewable Energy and NewMedEnergy, signed a new cooperation agreement aimed at developing new projects in the energy field.
This cooperation project is part of the two companies' desire to develop the energy sector in seven Arab countries, namely Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. The agreement specifies that its objective is "the initiation, development, financing, construction and operation of renewable energy projects in Morocco", with a focus on solar and wind power generation and energy storage.
The Moroccan market welcomes this cooperation, as NewMedEnergy, founded in 1993, has made history by "signing unprecedented agreements with Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates that have strengthened peace and increased stability in the Middle East", as the company says on its website. The signing of this agreement is also a boost for the Moroccan market, which sees Enlight Renewable Energy, created in 2008, as "a global renewable energy developer and independent power producer producing clean energy in Israel, Europe and the United States", according to its website. The company also says it will "exploit what we see as a very large opportunity in the region that started with natural gas".
The aim of this collaboration is to highlight both the expertise of Israeli companies in the energy field and Morocco's energy potential. Indeed, Morocco is attracting the interest of major global operators because of its ambitious energy transition policy and its massive and long-term investments in renewable energy. Today, Morocco is a privileged partner in the energy sector, especially as the Kingdom has been involved in the fight for climate protection since 2009. The Kingdom has thus equipped itself with numerous instruments, such as energy transition and efficiency strategies, in order to achieve the objectives set.
After having reached the first place on a continental level, the Moroccan market is now open to Israeli companies wishing to collaborate in order to promote projects of mutual interest. The CEO of Enlight Renewable Energy believes that "together, we can be very competitive with the biggest players in this field in the world", especially because "the countries of the MENA region see the importance of renewable energies".
Yonatan Free, an international relations expert at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes that "for many years, for many of these countries, oil was the key to success, a strong economy and a future. But now they see that this may not be the future and look to Israel, which has been very strong without natural resources for most of its existence".
Currently, the two Israeli operators see Morocco as an asset for the future, given its solar technical potential of more than 49,000 TWH/year, its wind technical potential of more than 11,500 TWH/year, and its consequent Moroccan energy potential: Morocco's 3,700 km of sea coast. Some specialists go so far as to claim that if the Kingdom were to exploit 5% of this potential, Morocco could meet its energy needs in the medium term, decarbonise its economy and develop part of its resources in the form of electricity or green hydrogen for export.