Morocco’s energy sector depends heavily on imported hydrocarbons. Currently, the country imports approximately 90 percent of its energy needs. Total primary energy consumption has increased by about 5 percent per year since 2004, but Morocco plans to decrease energy consumption by 15 percent from 2016 levels by 2030 through energy efficiency measures. Per the ministry of energy transition and sustainable development, Morocco’s electricity production in 2022 came from coal (37.25 percent), hydroelectricity (16.70 percent), fuel oil (7.03 percent), natural gas (17.72 percent), wind (13.48 percent), solar (7.82 percent).
The Government of Morocco seeks to increase security of supply by reducing dependence on energy imports, including increasing use of renewable sources for electricity production. As of the end of 2022, the share of renewable energy in the electrical capacity mix stood at 38 percent, or 4,154 MW. Hence, Morocco was ranked among the top 5 of African countries in terms of renewable energies with a capacity of 3,727 MW according to the latest report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The government of Morocco has expressed confidence that renewable energy sources will provide more than 52 percent of the total installed capacity by 2030. Renewable energy projects are supported through the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN)’s institutional framework offering a ‘one stop shop’ for private project developers, bringing together permitting, land acquisition and financing aspects as well as securing a state guarantee for the investment. Independent Power Producers (IPP) may also develop Renewable Energy (RE) projects and sell the electricity to a consumer or a consortium of consumers having access to very high voltage (VHV), high voltage (HV) and under certain conditions to medium voltage (MV).
The Moroccan government has prioritized the growth of the renewable energy sector through the enhancement of the regulatory framework. The Ministry of Energy Transition, and Sustainable Development has recently amended Law 13-09 on Renewable Energy, Law 82-21 on self-production of electrical energy, as well as Law 48-15 on the regulation of the electricity sector and the creation of the ANRE (National Agency of Electricity Regulation). These amendments aim to improve the legislative and regulatory framework governing renewable energy projects by the private sector, while guaranteeing the security and viability of the national electricity system.
Morocco offers opportunities to U.S. firms in the following segments:
- Electrical components
- Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contracting
- Solar water heaters
- Batteries/ Chargers
- Concentrated solar power (CSP)
- Photovoltaic (PV)
- Micro Hydraulic Centrals
- High, medium, and low-voltage applications.
- Technical training for facilities repair and maintenance
- Wind power equipment]
- Smart meters
- Transmission sensors
- Grid applications
Total installed capacity from renewable energy sources stands at 4031 MW, corresponding to 38.2 percent of total installed electrical capacity. Morocco’s 2009 National Energy Strategy and its Paris Agreement NDC target call for an increase of renewable energies in the electricity mix to 52 percent by 2030. this target was recently increased to reach more than 52 percent.
The National Office of Electricity and Water (ONEE) is targeting an installed electrical capacity of 10 GW from renewable energy by 2030, with 4.5 from solar, 4.1 from wind and 1.3 from hydropower.
Morocco has an average solar potential of 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) per square meter per day, although this varies geographically. Total installed capacity from solar energy currently stands at 831 MW.
According to the Ministry of Energy Transition, and Sustainable Development, Morocco could potentially generate 25,000 MW of wind power. At present, Morocco has an installed capacity from wind energy of 1553 MW, the second largest volume in Africa behind South Africa.
Existing hydro resources reached 1,770 MW of total capacity installed by December 2022. ONEE has started the construction of a Pumped Energy Transfer Station (PETS) of 350 MW at the Abdelmoumen site in the Agadir region. ONEE also operates the Afourar PETS of 464 MW, which has been used as a power system balancing asset since 2004.
Morocco’s energy efficiency strategy includes an efficiency target of 20 percent by 2030, including specific energy consumption reduction targets and to implement development plans for transportation (-24%), industry (-22%), construction (-14%), and public lighting (-13%).
Imported fossil fuels including refined oil, gas, and coal, currently provide over 90 percent of Morocco’s energy needs, according to the World Bank. In order to meet the growing demand for electricity and address certain issues arising from the significant expansion of renewable energy, Morocco plans to diversify its generation mix by increasing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In May 2021, the Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) launched a call for expression of interest for development and operation of an integrated FSRU terminal off the Atlantic coast. ONHYM will launch a call for tenders or a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the future. The initial scope of the FSRU project in Morocco is for an annual requirement of 1.1 bcm by 2025 rising to 1.7 bcm in 2030 and 3 bcm in 2040.
In August 2021, the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, and the Environment announced a new national roadmap for the development of natural gas 2021-2050. The roadmap lays the groundwork for the development of natural gas for industrial needs initially, followed by domestic needs, while continuing its development to integrate electricity generation needs. The first step in this roadmap would be to put in place a regulatory framework for the natural gas sector. The second step would assess demand as it has evolved from recent years to current consumption, as well as its potential for future demand. The third stage would evaluate the various options for supplying natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), in particular by gas pipelines, floating storage and regasification units, on shore terminals or even multidirectional flows. Also it would evaluate the deployment of a new transport network in order to link all the components of the gas plan and to develop their own capacities for the reception and storage of natural gas and LNG to ensure a secure supply.
Morocco entered the international LNG market for the first time in 2022, completing several LNG purchases on the spot market, thanks to consistent cooperation with Spain, using Spanish LNG terminals to import gas and directing the gas from north to south via reverse flow through the Maghreb Europe Gas (MEG) pipeline. On July 14, 2023, the National Office of Electricity and Water (ONEE) signed a 12-year agreement with Shell International Trading Middle East Limited for the provision of 0.5 billion cubic meter (bcm) of liquified natural gas (LNG) annually. Under the deal, the LNG will be transported through the MEG until Morocco constructs its own LNG terminals. The supplied LNG will enable ONEE to operate two combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) in northern (384 MW) and eastern (452 MW) Morocco that previously relied on Algerian gas through the same pipeline. Morocco is a net energy importer and aims at diversifying fuel supplies and reducing its dependence on foreign oil and coal. OHNYM offers attractive operating and investment terms to oil and gas exploration and production companies. For more information about exploration activities please visit Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM).
Power to X
Due to its high renewable energy potential, in both solar and wind, and its geographical location between Europe and the rest of Africa – Morocco aspires to be a global leader in the industrial production, domestic consumption, and export of green hydrogen and ammonia. The north African kingdom was the first country in the MENA region to adopt a National Strategy for Green Hydrogen, which it unveiled in 2021. The strategy includes a timeline spanning from 2020 to 2050 and identifies various steps toward possible applications of green hydrogen in the economy. In the short term (2020-2030) the focus is on both exports, mainly to Europe, and the use of GH2 as an industry feedstock. In the medium term (2030-2040), Morocco will focus on using GH2 as an energy storage vector to ensure grid stability, but also in public and heavy trucks transports. In the long term (2040-2050), the strategy foresees higher levels of exports and use in industrial heat, railway, maritime, and aviation transport, as well as passenger vehicles. The strategy has a goal to install 14.6 GW of extra renewable energy capacity through 2030 and 131.5 GW through 2050, outside of the electricity sector (currently around 11 GW), as well as an overall CAPEX to expand the green hydrogen sector in the country that may exceed $100 billion by 2050.
- Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development
- National Office of Electricity and Water (ONEE)
- National Federation of Electricity and Renewable Energies (FENELEC)
- Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN)
- Solar Cluster
- Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) E-Tenders
- Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE)
- Company for Energy Investments (SIE)
- Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM)The National Electricity Regulatory Authority (ANRE)