Before the year 2030, Morocco has set high ambitions for renewable energy with the aim of exceeding the current target of 52% of the national electricity mix.
In response to an oral question in the House of Councilors on the key stages for the implementation of the strategy for the energy transition towards sustainable development, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, indicated that ‘to date, 61 projects are under development or in progress with a total capacity of nearly 4.6 gigawatts and an investment of nearly 53 billion dirhams.
That said, these projects remain insufficient, said the minister, noting that the number of initiatives and new programs to support investment in renewable energies have been set up.
Programs and initiatives to support the energy transition strategy
Among its initiatives are a program with a total capacity of 400 megawatts for the realization of photovoltaic solar energy projects in order to support SMEs and create jobs and another on the supply of the water desalination plant. of the sea through the use of renewable energies, explained the minister, noting that the first project in this field is being developed in the Dakhla region.
In addition, the development program for the supply of industrial zones with clean electrical energy, continued the Minister before specifying that the industrial zone of Kenitra will, in a first stage, be supplied with an energy of nearly 160 gigawatt/hour, while the priority industrial zones will be supplied with nearly 800 gigawatt/hour.
Energy transition: A new approach is needed
Thus, Morocco aims to achieve the objectives of the energy transition strategy, based on three pillars, explained the minister, namely the development of a new policy and the adoption of a sustainable approach in all sectors in accordance with international commitments and in order to achieve the development indicators set out in the New Development Model.
In addition to the strengthening of regional cooperation which is intended as a pillar for the achievement of energy security as well as legislative, regulatory and institutional support to promote national and foreign investment, she underlined.
To this end, the Minister highlighted the place of the electricity production and transmission sector in general in the use of the land base through leasing and transfer, noting that the phases of mobilization of State domains through the separation of the forest environment and private State property have an impact on their availability within the time limits set and at reasonable costs, knowing that two thirds of the period necessary for a mobilization property concerns the related administrative and legal procedures.
To achieve the objectives set, the Ministry proposes a special procedure for expropriation for public utility and the establishment of adequate mechanisms and measures for the simplification of procedures with regard to expropriation or temporary occupation. land in the forest domain, she noted.
The previous period was marked by many challenges, including the Kingdom’s renewal of its international commitments at COP26 in Glasgow, particularly in terms of adapting the national electricity system, gradually reducing the use of coal, not forgetting the shutdown of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline which offered an opportunity for the adoption of this new policy, she argued.
Cross-cutting projects have also been launched, including the evaluation of the national sustainable development strategy, in addition to the reform of public establishments in the sector and the continuation of the process of implementing advanced regionalization, through support local authorities, particularly in the fields of waste recovery and the distribution of electricity and water.
Regarding legislative, organizational and institutional reforms in the field of energy transition, Ms. Benali said that her department is continuing its efforts to improve the legal, organizational and institutional arsenal.
The Minister also underlined that the shutdown of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline was an opportunity to carry out a global review of the roadmap relating to natural gas, considered an essential product for developing renewable energies, achieving the development industrial and logistics sector in Morocco.
Since last November, more than 80% of the demand for electrical energy has been covered by coal, fuel oil, diesel, and imports of electricity from neighboring countries and certain photovoltaic projects, noted the minister, specifying that the access to the international natural gas market will allow the acceleration of the development of renewable energies and the promotion of a low-carbon industry and logistics services.