Renewable energy shines in Morocco

Published on Friday, 16 September 2016

Waiting for #COP22, Morocco prepares the ground for the next world climate summit with Photovolatica 2016. EGP and RES4MED, gold sponsors of the event, discuss green tech development potential in Africa.

In recent years, Morocco has consolidated its leadership in the development of energy from renewable sources throughout North Africa. It is preparing to host the next United Nations Climate Summit (COP22) in Marrakech from November 7 to 18. The summit represents a crucial event in the future of climate policy, bringing together representatives from governments, organisations and businesses to take stock of the state of implementation of the agreement signed almost a year ago at COP21 in Paris, defining ambitious goals in the fight against global warming.

The second edition of Photovoltaica was held in Casablanca from September 7 to 9 in light of this important event. The fair, which is dedicated to solar energy development and technology, was held under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and Morocco’s Ministry of Energy and the Environment.

It is in this context that the launch of a new national energy plan, to promote a 40 billion dollar investment in 15 years was announced, of which two-thirds will be used in the development of green power plants.

The initiative confirms the acceleration towards an energy model that supports renewables by Morocco, aiming to attract investments and reduce its dependence on foreign countries, in a nation that imported as much as 98% of its energy needs in 2008.

The gold sponsors of the event were RES4MED (an organisation for the development of renewable energy in the Mediterranean area) and Enel Green Power, which collaborated with Cesi, Enerray, Erm, Italgen and Pöyry, presenting a joint stand at Photovolatica 2016 to promote green tech, as well as a workshop on solar technology innovation and development.

Francesco Venturini, head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Business Line, spoke at the opening of the event, underlining Morocco’s increasing competitiveness in the renewables sector, having set a 52% green generation target by 2030.

In the last two years, stated Venturini, the Kingdom of Morocco has demonstrated its leadership in the sector in northwestern Africa, by launching some of the most noteworthy projects for plants from renewable sources, including both solar power and wind power technology, to which Enel Green Power will contribute, having won a tender with Nareva and Siemens to build five wind farms totaling 850 MW.

After having expressed his appreciation for the newly introduced regulatory innovations and the upcoming creation of the independent authority in the sector (Anre), Venturini expressed his hope that the Moroccan government may consider the possibility of increasing the share of photovoltaic technology within the National Solar Plan. In particular, Enel’s Global Renewable Energies head welcomed the opening of tenders calling for solutions that combine photovoltaic technology with storage systems, in order to offer more flexible solutions in electricity generation and distribution, compared to concentrated solar power.

A conference promoted by EGP and RES4MED was held on the second day of Photovoltaica, called PV deployment, lessons learned and potential of application in Morocco and Western Africa.” The workshop offered experts, institutional leaders and private companies the opportunity to analyse the different aspects related to the development of solar plants and industrial integration, focusing on green strategies in particularly dry areas, such as North Africa and sub-Saharan countries.