Rabat – As the world continues to inch closer to the catastrophic effects of climate change, Morocco features among the world’s most environment-friendly countries. In its resolution to pave the way towards an even more renewable future, the Moroccan government has put together an ambitious goal of bringing national renewable electricity production to 52%.
Imported fossil fuels currently feed 97% of Morocco’s annual energy consumption, costing the kingdom billions every year.
With hopes of liberating itself from an overreliance on foreign trade for energy, Morocco has set out on a number of projects to increase renewable energy consumption while keeping up with growing demand.
Perhaps the most ambitious of these projects has been the Noor Solar Power Plant in Ouarzazate, which could theoretically provide clean electricity for a city twice the size of Marrakech.
However, despite the momentum that Morocco has established through its renewable energy efforts, it has lost its place on the Ernst & Young (EY) Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), dropping from 12th in the world to 13th in the world, just below Denmark.
RECAI rankings are determined by analyzing a myriad of factors and assigning each a score from 1 to 5 and then weighted based on importance. The factors include the countries’ macroeconomic conditions as well as technology and natural resources, such as access to sunlight and strong winds.
Though Morocco excels in renewable energy fields such as onshore wind and solar, it continues to lack in offshore wind. The country also falls behind in as the hydroelectric and geothermal sources of energy which have made several European countries so successful with renewables.
“Morocco is an emergent country,” Yassir Badih, senior project manager at the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy told CNN.
“Electricity demand has doubled since 2010 and by 2030 we want Morocco to be one of the first countries in the world for renewables to exceed the share of fossil energy,” he continued.
While Morocco remains on-track for reaching its 2020 goal of 42 per cent electricity production – as well as its even more ambitious goal of reaching 52 per cent by 2030 – it will need to make use of all of its potential natural resources if it wishes to remain a world leader in renewable electricity.