Achieving inclusive competitiveness in the emerging solar energy sector in Morocco

Achieving inclusive competitiveness in the emerging solar energy sector in Morocco

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Vidican, Georgeta / Matthias Böhning / Gina Burger / Elisa de Siqueira Regueira / Sandra Müller / Susanne Wendt
Studies 79 (2013)

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-88985-586-2
Price: 10 €

The Middle East and North Africa region has been the focal point of large investments in renewable energy, primarily due to high solar irradiation and wind speed in coastal areas. Most countries in the region have set renewable energy targets to diversify their energy mix. Investments have also been motivated by the expected socio-economic co-benefits including job creation, supplier development, increased export revenues and local tax base, and technological spillover into other industries. This study explores what Morocco can gain from renewable energy projects and which policies are appropriate to maximise their development effects. Morocco provides an interesting case to examine, as the country currently imports more than 95 per cent of its energy, and its energy demand is expected to triple by 2030. This dependence on imports provides a strong incentive for exploiting local renewable energy sources. Moreover, Morocco suffers from high unemployment and therefore needs to link new investments to job creation; but so far, its level of industrial development and competitiveness are low. To respond to these challenges, the Moroccan government has engaged in an ambitious process of developing the renewable energy industry. What distinguishes Morocco from neighbouruing countries is its commitment to linking solar and wind electricity generation projects to industrial development, employment generation and competitiveness more generally. At the same time, the potential for green electricity exports to Europe, facilitated by Morocco’s proximity to Spain, offers unique market opportunities. The efforts made by Morocco’s government to maintain political stability in times of turmoil across the MENA region reinforce Morocco as a potential upcoming market for solar and wind energy, as the huge investment in the first large-scale renewable energy projects show. Our studies shows how a strategic combination of complementary policies for supplier development, training, finance and technological learning could contribute to positioning Morocco as a regional and global player in the renewable energy sector.    

The Middle East and North Africa region has been the focal point of large investments in renewable energy, primarily due to high solar irradiation and wind speed in coastal areas. Most countries in the region have set renewable energy targets to diversify their energy mix. Investments have also been motivated by the expected socio-economic co-benefits including job creation, supplier development, increased export revenues and local tax base, and technological spillover into other industries. This study explores what Morocco can gain from renewable energy projects and which policies are appropriate to maximise their development effects. Morocco provides an interesting case to examine, as the country currently imports more than 95 per cent of its energy, and its energy demand is expected to triple by 2030. This dependence on imports provides a strong incentive for exploiting local renewable energy sources. Moreover, Morocco suffers from high unemployment and therefore needs to link new investments to job creation; but so far, its level of industrial development and competitiveness are low. To respond to these challenges, the Moroccan government has engaged in an ambitious process of developing the renewable energy industry. What distinguishes Morocco from neighbouruing countries is its commitment to linking solar and wind electricity generation projects to industrial development, employment generation and competitiveness more generally. At the same time, the potential for green electricity exports to Europe, facilitated by Morocco’s proximity to Spain, offers unique market opportunities. The efforts made by Morocco’s government to maintain political stability in times of turmoil across the MENA region reinforce Morocco as a potential upcoming market for solar and wind energy, as the huge investment in the first large-scale renewable energy projects show. Our studies shows how a strategic combination of complementary policies for supplier development, training, finance and technological learning could contribute to positioning Morocco as a regional and global player in the renewable energy sector.    

About the author

Georgeta Auktor (ehemals Vidican)

Further experts

Berensmann, Kathrin

Economist 

Dafe, Florence

Social Scientist 

Lindenberg, Nannette

Economist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna

Economist 

Wolff, Peter

Economist 

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