By Anders Lorenzen
The North African country Morocco is positioning itself to become the leading country on the African continent for the deployment of renewable energy.
Against a backdrop of new solar and wind projects, the country has increased its renewable energy target to 52% by 2030, 70% by 2040 and 80% by 2050.
According to data analysts Global Data, Morocco had an installed renewable energy capacity of 3.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 and was estimated to reach 4.3 GW during last year. It is then expected to reach 9.6 GW by 2030 at an annual growth rate of 9.3% during the decade 2020-2030. Wind power will become the largest renewable energy source in the country overtaking hydro.
For wind power alone the installed capacity will increase from 1.4 GW in 2020 to 4.3 GW in 2030. While the installed capacity for both PV and CSP solar power will increase from 734 megawatts (MW) in 2020 to 2.1 GW in 2030, and Hydropower will increase from 1.8 GW in 2020 to 3.3 GW in 2030.
Project Manager at Global Data, Pavan Vyakaranam said: “Morocco plans to achieve its 2030, 2040, and 2050 renewable energy targets through technological evolution in energy storage, green hydrogen, and decreasing renewable energy costs. The country is currently on track to achieve its 2030 renewable capacity target and will reduce its reliance on thermal sources such as coal and oil. The installed capacity share of coal will decline from 38.8% in 2020 to 22% by 2030, and the share of oil-based thermal capacity will reduce to 9.2% by 2030 from 16.2% in 2020.”
Vyakaranam further explained that apart from developing large renewable energy projects, the North African country should also focus on improving existing renewable energy policy so the development of small-scale grid-connected systems is enabled. Morocco should continue to award solar and wind projects such as the MASEN solar power plant, the first phase of the highly anticipated Noor PV II project, where several PV arrays will be built across eight different locations.
Many renewable energy analysts have earmarked Morocco and other countries bordering the Sahara Desert as having the potential to generate large amounts of solar energy, due to the solar radiation in the area as well as its climate and geography.