Although Morocco has made considerable progress in terms of energy transition, the country still has a long way to go before achieving the objectives set. So says energy expert Amin Bennouna.
The report on “The state of energy in Morocco 2022”, recently published by the German foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, provides an overview of the Moroccan energy landscape. It highlights the country’s heavy reliance on energy imports, challenges with natural gas imports, and efforts to increase renewable energy capacity.
The report, based on data collated and analyzed by Amin Bennouna, offers valuable insights into Morocco’s energy situation and the steps taken to achieve energy independence by 2030.
The expert underlines that despite the significant progress made in recent years, Morocco still has a long way to go to achieve its energy objectives. The country remains highly dependent on energy imports, which account for more than 90% of its total energy consumption.
” Its reliance on natural gas imports from Algeria, which were halted in October 2021, has led to major disruptions in the energy supply chain“, says the report.
Since this interruption, continues the specialist, Morocco has had to shut down its two natural gas power plants (860 MW) which produced up to 15.2% of Morocco’s net electricity production in 2018. Spain has had to face to a supply shortfall from Algeria of just under a billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021 but probably 15% of its needs in 2022 (7-8 billion cubic meters).
According to Bennouna, one of the most significant efforts to address this issue is the country’s ambitious plan to increase renewable energy capacity, particularly wind and solar power. Morocco has invested heavily in renewable energy projects, including the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, the Noor Ouarzazate complex, and the Tarfaya wind farm, which is one of the largest in Africa. he recalled.
” Thanks to these and other projects, the country has made significant progress towards its goal of producing 52% of electricity capacity from renewable sources by 2030.“, adds the expert, noting the Kingdom has committed to achieving this objective in 2016 during COP22. This capacity comes in the form of 20% wind, 20% solar and 12% hydro.
While electricity generation from fossil fuels only increased 1.80 times between 2008 and 2022, electricity generation from renewable sources increased 5.55 times over the same period . And this, while hydroelectricity has lost 62% of its production. This clearly shows the effort made in the country to push towards renewable energies.
However, Amin Bennouna notes that there are significant challenges to overcome. According to the specialist, Morocco has only one pumped storage power plant in Afourer (464 MW) which has been in operation since 2005, which limits the country’s ability to store renewable energy for use during peak periods. , but another (350 MW) should be commissioned in 2023 near the Abdelmoumen dam.
” In February 2021, Morocco also established a roadmap for green hydrogen which, subject to a competitive cost, could also be used for transport or energy storage before electricity generation.“, he recalled.
In addition, decentralized solar power systems have helped reduce electricity demand during the day, but energy efficiency measures in lighting are also needed to reduce electricity demand during the night.