Rabat's energy efficiency efforts have attracted the attention of the European Union, which is seeking to alleviate the effects of the energy crisis created by the conflict in Ukraine

As a pioneer in renewable energy, Morocco could become a key source of energy for the European Union

AP/ABDELJALIL BOUNHAR - Vista aérea de una planta de energía solar en Ouarzazate, en el centro de Marruecos
photo_camera AP/ABDELJALIL BOUNHAR - Aerial view of a solar power plant in Ouarzazate, central Morocco

The vast effort made by the Moroccan authorities in the field of renewable energy has not gone unnoticed. According to the Italian press agency AGC News, Morocco is now considered to be one of the pioneering countries in the field of renewable energies and ranks seventh in the world in terms of energy performance.

As a result, the Kingdom is positioned as a major potential supplier of clean energy to Europe, where demand is constantly growing. Italian media Energia Oltre reported that 鈥淢orocco's vast landscapes, extensive coastline and sunny climate offer large-scale potential for wind and solar farms鈥. 鈥淭he Kingdom's proximity to Europe means that it has the potential to become a key energy source for the European Union鈥, the press agency points out. 

For several years now, Morocco has been developing a dynamic and diversified energy sector, as well as wide-open spaces for infrastructure projects, bringing together both public and private investment. Earlier this year, the European Union committed to programmes worth 鈧624 million to support Morocco's transition to green energy.

PHOTO/REUTERS - Molinos de viento generadores de energ铆a Saudi Acwa en Jbel Sendouq, en las afueras de T谩nger, Marruecos
PHOTO/REUTERS - Energy-generating windmills Saudi Acwa in Jbel Sendouq, on the outskirts of Tangier, Morocco

For Europe, Morocco's clean energy supply offers a viable solution for diversifying energy sources and reducing dependence on fuels highlighted by the energy crisis arising from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

In recent years, renewable energies in Morocco have emerged as one of the top three most promising markets, in light of the country's ambitious plan to increase solar, wind and green hydrogen production capacity. The ultimate aim is to increase the share of these green energies to more than 52 % of the country's electricity production by 2030. One of the Kingdom's flagship projects is to export a large proportion of this electricity to the neighbouring continent via undersea cables.

A multitude of projects

Moroccan entrepreneur Moundir Zniber told the BBC in an interview that 鈥減rivate Moroccan companies like his are now planning to export solar and wind-generated electricity, as well as green hydrogen, to Europe鈥. His company Gaia Energy is developing wind and solar projects that could cover up to 4 % of Germany and Italy's electricity needs.

Other companies, such as the British start-up Xlinks, are planning to build a 3,800 km undersea electricity cable between Morocco and the UK, in the hope that Moroccan solar and wind energy will be able to meet 8 % of the UK's electricity needs by 2030.

The Hespress press agency points out that through its solar, wind and hydroelectric energies, Morocco has an installed capacity of around four gigawatts from renewable energies, already representing 40 % of its total electricity production capacity. 

AP/MOSAAB ELSHAMY - Hassan Bouazza se encuentra junto a los paneles solares que instal贸 en la ciudad oasis de Alnif, cerca de Tinghir, Marruecos, el martes 29 de noviembre de 2022. Fue el primero en instalar paneles solares en el ksar o castillo de la regi贸n. y comenz贸 a depender de la energ铆a producida para cavar pozos e irrigar las tierras de sus compa帽eros agricultores
AP/MOSAAB ELSHAMY - Hassan Bouazza stands next to the solar panels he installed in the oasis town of Alnif, near Tinghir, Morocco, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. He was the first to install solar panels on the region's ksar, or castle, and began relying on the energy produced to dig wells and irrigate the land of his fellow farmers

The Kingdom has a host of clean energy projects under construction or completed on its soil, including the Abdelmoumen STEP with a capacity of 350 MW and the El Menzel STEP (between 300 and 400 MW). The wind power projects at Taza (2nd phase, 63 MW), Boujdour (300 MW), Tangier II (70 MW), Jbel Landid (270 MW) and Tiskrad (100 MW) are also included, as are the solar power plants at Noor Midelt (400 MW), Noor PVII (400 MW) and Noor Atlas (200 MW).

Rabat has also built two electricity interconnections and a gas pipeline between Spain and Morocco, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. 鈥淭he Kingdom has vast untapped potential in wave energy, attracting investment from a variety of sources, including the World Bank and private investors from the Middle East, the United States and Europe,鈥 says Hespress.

The acceleration of these projects benefits both European countries and Morocco, as they could create up to 28,000 new jobs a year. According to Moez Cherif, the World Bank's chief economist for the region, these projects would also enable the Kingdom to 鈥減osition itself as an industrial centre for investment in exports of green industrial products鈥.

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