Morocco’s augmenting efforts for producing and exporting green energy to Europe

Ritika Pathak

, News

The year 2021 showed a 600% increase in European gas prices. The density of the situation was such that IEA had to call for Russia to provide more gas to Europe to contribute towards the alleviation of the crisis. The price surge has also witnessed a 37% increase within 24 hours. To improve the current energy shortage, many European leaders are eyeing the North Sea to serve as an engine for renewable energy.

They want to decrease reliance on Russian gas and the use of fossil fuels. The strategy is expensive and radical. The new sources of green energy are no longer only an aspiration for many nations from the consequences of climate change. For example, the Ukraine war has led countries to explore alternatives to Russian gas using sources that replenish themselves, like wind and wave power. In addition, the northern waters of Europe are intended to become a source of renewable energy, according to European authorities.

Morocco aims to remove Europe’s dependency on Russia for Energy and wants to be a significant contributor. A Moroccan energy entrepreneur, Mr. Moundir Zniber, owner of Gaia Energy, tends to grab opportunities out of critical situations and crises. According to him, Morocco has the best solar and wind resources globally. The country might lack oil and natural gas, but its potential still stands upfront to cater to the energy needs of Europe. The country, however, still requires the build-up of many more solar and wind farms, as the nation itself is dependent on imports for nearly 90% of its energy needs generated from fossil fuels.

About 80.5% of Morocco’s electricity in 2021 was generated by burning coal, gas, and oil. In comparison, just 12.4% and 4.4% were generated from wind and solar energy, respectively. However, thanks to initiatives like the sizable Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant developed by Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power, majorly funded by the World Bank and European Investment Bank. This solar complex is why Morocco is already enhancing its renewable energy production. Nevertheless, we can see that Morocco needs better renewable energy sources compared to its ambitious plan to support the EU.

In Mr. Zniber’s opinion, Gaia Energy is developing wind and solar schemes that could meet nearly 4% of Germany’s and Italy’s electricity needs. Apart from this, the company has six other projects specifically running for green hydrogen, which aims to serve 25% needs of Europe. In addition, more private firms are working in the same regard as Gaia Energy.

Leila Benali, Morocco’s Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, states that global factors have played a vital role in the slow growth of renewables in the country. However, after being asked that even after knowing that not all demands of Morocco have been satisfied, it still makes sense to export green electricity, Mrs. Benali answers that the “priority” is for Moroccans to have access to the “lowest-cost” green energy.

Despite its insufficiency, Morocco is considering bilateral ways to produce and export green energy to Europe. The trade relations between Morocco and the European Union have been good for over 50 years. What will be more interesting to see is whether Morocco can fulfill the extravagant energy needs of the EU.


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