Morocco has made great strides in the field of sustainable energy in recent years

Renewable energies strengthen relations between Morocco and Italy

Energía eólica en Marruecos - PHOTO/FILE
Renewable energy in Morocco - PHOTO/FILE

Morocco and Italy continue to strengthen their bilateral cooperation in many areas, including renewable energies, in a way that serves the interests of both countries. 

In this regard, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch said during the summit "Italy-Africa: Bridge for shared growth" held this week in Rome, Italy shows a "great interest" in participating in the projects carried out by the Kingdom in the field of promoting renewable energies. "Morocco is at the heart of the project presented by Italy to support and cooperate with African countries through an equal partnership".  

According to Akhannouch, Italy's interest in Moroccan renewable energy development projects is clearly evident "in all the meetings and interventions that characterised this summit". 

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced that her government had earmarked 5.5 billion euros to finance the "Mattei Plan", which aims to invest in the African continent in the form of investments, loans and subsidies, including the creation of a huge vocational training centre in the field of renewable energies in Morocco. 

The summit in the Italian capital was an opportunity to shed light on Morocco's plans for green hydrogen production and the great strides made by the Kingdom since 2009 in the field of promoting sustainable energies. The Kingdom is working towards a target of 52% of electricity produced from renewable energy by 2030.   

Hisham Moataded, an academic and expert in international and strategic relations, tells Al-Arab that 'cooperation between the two countries in the field of green hydrogen is a fundamental element for positive cooperation at the highest level, which is an opportunity to strengthen relations in both their diplomatic and political aspects, far from conjunctural positions and political calculations'. 

Renewable energy in Morocco - PHOTO/FILE

The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed last July that Morocco is a strategic security partner of Italy in the Mediterranean, and that it is necessary to work with it for the stability and prosperity of the region. Rome also describes the Kingdom as an 'essential country in the southern neighbourhood' that can always count on Italy as a friendly nation within the EU. 

For his part, the head of the Italian Senate's "European Union Policy" Committee and former foreign minister, Giulio Terzi di Santa Agata, indicated that in addition to the Mediterranean, "the two countries share security concerns, especially with regard to the proliferation of groups and entities in Africa, which threatens stability and security on the continent". On this point, the Italian politician praised Morocco's approach in the fight against extremism and terrorism. 

The action plan to implement the multidimensional strategic partnership, signed in Rabat in 2019, identifies four priorities for Moroccan-Italian relations for the coming years: strengthening political dialogue on regional issues in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, consolidating economic and cultural cooperation, improving security coordination and establishing a consultative mechanism on immigration and consular affairs. 

PHOTO/POOL/AFP/JOE GIDDENS - La primera ministra italiana, Giorgia Meloni, gesticula mientras habla durante una reunión con el primer ministro británico, Rishi Sunak, en el segundo día de la Cumbre de Seguridad sobre Inteligencia Artificial (IA) del Reino Unido en Bletchley Park, en el centro de Inglaterra, el 2 de noviembre de 2023
The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni - PHOTO/POOL/AFP/JOE GIDDENS 

A report published on Tuesday by the Moroccan Institute for Political Analysis states that Rome and Rabat are now looking to cooperate in the field of green energy. As such, Rome has the opportunity to rebalance its energy diplomacy towards hydrocarbons and engage Rabat in the renewable energy and green hydrogen sectors. Moreover, based on their experience in the automotive sector, the two countries can benefit from their commercial cooperation to develop value chains in the field of green energy. 

According to the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis, one of the most promising opportunities for Italian-Moroccan cooperation lies in Morocco's efforts to develop its capacity to produce green and carbon-free hydrogen. While Italy has the opportunity to play an important role in the green hydrogen value chain in Morocco, as it does in the automotive sector. 

Professor of International Relations and International Law Mohamed Lakrini confirmed to Al-Arab that "the multidimensional strategic partnership is the main determinant of relations between Morocco and Italy and includes cooperation in the field of renewable energy". "Morocco must be a strategic partner with its position and its role in a number of sensitive issues such as security, politics and economy," he added to Al-Arab. 

Nasser Bourita, ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Marruecos
Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco - PHOTO/FILE

According to the Italian government's foreign trade portal, 'the Kingdom is a strategic country for Italy in the Mediterranean region thanks to its political stability and positive economic growth prospects, which are elements that distinguish the Kingdom in the region'. 

In terms of energy, Rabat is also an important partner for Rome in the field of sustainable development, according to the report by the Italian Institute of International Political Studies. According to the institution, 'Morocco has developed in recent years one of the most ambitious energy transition strategies in terms of energy. The African continent, with Morocco in particular, has become one of the "most important destinations for research and sustainable energy operations, thanks to the development of the green hydrogen sector".