This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 10/25/2017
This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. This section includes a market overview and trade data.

Overview

Morocco has very few deposits of fossil fuels and imports 89.4 percent of its energy needs for its 33.5 million inhabitants.  Total primary energy consumption has increased by about 5 percent per year since 2004, with per capita annual increases at 3.6 percent.  About one third of the total primary energy consumption is devoted to electricity generation, which amounted to an electricity consumption of 36,500 GWh in 2015.  Morocco produces 28,000 GWh of electricity and imports the rest from Spain.

In 2015, Morocco's electricity production capacity was 8,154 MW, divided roughly between coal (31%), fuel and diesel (10%), hydroelectricity (22%), gas (25.8%) and wind (9.4%).

Production Capacities will be increased by 6,500 MW by 2020. Of this new total capacity of around14,500 MW, solar and wind energy will each represent about 2,000 MW.

The electricity pricing system is modulated, in particular according to consumption, consumption schedules and type of meters.  In 2016, the final price per kWh for consumption varied between approx. 8 and 21 dollar cents (including 14 percent TVA), the majority of the tariffs being between approx. 9 and 16 dollar cents (including 14 percent TVA).

The national strategic objective is to safeguard the security of the energy supply by reducing dependence on energy imports.  With consistent sun and strong winds, Morocco has strong potential in renewable energy, with a long term goal of becoming an energy exporter to European and African markets.

The Moroccan National Energy Plan is part of the policy of economic and social reforms initiated by King Mohammed VI.  It lays out general guidelines and conditions for the development of renewable energies.  As of 2015, Morocco had reached a renewable energy 32 percent of its energy goal (mainly hydroelectric and solar power) of installed electricity generation capacity.  By 2020, Morocco aims to ensure renewable energies will account for 42 percent of electricity generation capacity, for a total of 6 000 MW.  At the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris, King Mohammed VI announced Morocco would aim to ensure 52 percent of electricity power generation capacity is from renewable sources by 2030.  Fossil energy sources will continue to play an important role in the near future, but there is no doubt that the future of the national electricity mix will be through wind and solar.  

The main objectives of the energy strategy are:
  • Security of supply,
  • Access to energy at reasonable prices,
  • Energy management,
  • Environmental protection.
These objectives will be achieved mainly through the following Actions:
  • Optimizing and diversifying the power generation mix,
  • Developing wind, solar and hydroelectric power generation plants,
  • Increasing energy efficiency in government buildings, and
  • Promoting regional integration of electricity transmission networks.
In November 2015, then Moroccan Energy Minister, Abdelkader Amara, said at a meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris that Morocco would invest a total of USD 37 billion in the national energy sector by 2025.  Morocco is viewed as a leader among countries in using renewable energy to answer the growing need for electricity. 

Morocco has taken the following steps to achieve its energy transition:
  • Development of the national energy strategy (2009)
  • Development of decisive framework laws containing provisions for the start of liberalization of the electricity market, renewable energy and energy efficiency:  Acts 13-09, Law 47-09, Law 16-08 (2009)
  • Development of the Moroccan Solar Plan (2009)
  • Development of the Moroccan wind energy plan (2010)
  • Establishment of the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency - ADEREE (2010)
  • Establishment of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) (2010)
  • Establishment of the Energy Investment Company - SIE (2010)
  • Creation of the Institute for Research in Solar Energy and New Energies - IRESEN (2011)
  • Commissioning of the first wind farm (150 MW) in Taza under the Moroccan wind plan (2015)
  • Commissioning of the first NOOR 1 (160 MW) thermodynamic solar power plant (CSP) in Ouarzazate as part of the Moroccan Solar Plan (2015)
  • Initiation of the Training Institute for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (IFMEREE) with locations in Oujda, Tangier and Ouarzazate
  • Publication of Law 58-15 opening access to low- and medium-voltage networks, amending and supplementing Law 13-09, and Decree No. 2-15-772 on access to the national grid of medium voltage (2015)
  • Adoption of Law 48-15 on the regularization of the energy sector and implementation of the National Electricity Regulatory Authority - ANRE (2016)
  • Restructuring at the level of competences and denomination of public institutions MASEN, ONEE and ADEREE/AMEE by laws 37-16, 38-16, 39-16 (2016)
In 2016, key Moroccan energy agencies were restructured.  The Moroccan National Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), previously responsible for the implementation of the Moroccan Solar Plan, became the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, still known as MASEN but now responsible for all renewable energy, including wind, hydro, and solar power.  In addition, the National Agency for Development of Renewable Energy, and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE), was renamed Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency(AMEE) and now focuses only on energy efficiency.

Main legislative developments in the Moroccan energy sector:

Law 16-08 on self-production authorizes for the first time any natural or legal person to produce electricity for his own needs.  Self-production is subject to authorization and subject to the following conditions:
  • The capacity must not exceed 50 MW,
  • The production is intended for the exclusive use of the producer, and
  • Any surplus production must be sold directly to the grid.
Until today, this possibility has been used mainly by large cement manufacturers “Lafarge” (30 MW) and “Ciments du Maroc” (5 MW) and by the national phosphate company OCP.  Law 13-09 allows any natural or legal person to produce energy from renewable sources. This may be self-production or production intended to be injected into the high- or medium-voltage network and sold to buyers with adequate connections.  The low voltage network is now included in the extension covered by Law 58-15, but the decree of application is still being drawn up, which for the moment prevents large-scale decentralized injection by private individuals or small businesses.  In the medium to long term, this market will also be open, which should give considerable push to the production of electricity by small photovoltaic power plants.  Wind power plants with a capacity greater than or equal to 2 MW must be carried out on the sites identified for this purpose.  Facilities with a capacity of 2 MW or more (electricity production) or 8 MW (thermal energy) are also subject to authorization.  The 13-09 law allows the export of part of the electricity produced.  In any case, the connection to the grid and Logictis should be ensured by the National Office of Water and Electricity, ONEE, which must also be an Associate partner in in the sale action.

Law 47-09 deals with energy efficiency in the construction (residential and commercial buildings), transport and industry sectors. This law introduces the energy performance of buildings and equipment and appliances, the compulsory energy audit based on a consumption threshold in industry and the service sector, the preliminary assessment of energy impact of any proposed urban planning or construction on a predicted consumption threshold and technical control of energy efficiency. The text also encourages training and awareness-raising on energy efficiency.  In addition, Application Decree No. 2-13-874, which prescribes minimum technical specifications for thermal performances (roofs, exterior walls, windows, floors, etc.) for a series of new constructions entered into force November 2015.

The publication of Law 48-15 in July 2016 represented an important step towards the liberalization of the electricity sector.  The law establishes a national regulatory authority responsible for access and use of the medium and high voltage network for new producers.  Implementation of the legislation is under way and should enable the authority to manage any conflicts between operators and network users. In addition, the ONEE high-voltage network will be administered independently of energy production in order to avoid discrimination against new producers.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Morocco offers excellent opportunities to U.S. firms in the following segments:
  • Electrical components 
  • Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contracting
  • Generators
  • Solar water heaters
  • Concentrated solar power (CSP)
  • Photovoltaic
  • Connections
  • Micro Hydraulic Centrals
  • Switches
  • Fittings
  • High, medium and low-voltage applications.
  • Technical training for facilities repair and maintenance.
Opportunities
 
All public and semi-public power production projects in Morocco are conducted through international tenders for development on a concession basis.  U.S. manufacturers of solar/wind/biomass equipment are encouraged to partner with others, to participate in tenders as joint consortiums.  Power plants are often financed through Public Private Partnership structures.  It is also critical to have reliable local partners.  Entering into joint ventures with local partners can be an effective way to win contracts.  More information on upcoming tenders can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Service provides a free-of-charge advocacy service to U.S firms participating in public tenders to strengthen their position.  Contact information can be found at the following links: 

Export.gov Contact Information
Export.gov Advocacy Center

Solar Energy:

Morocco has an average solar potential of 5 kWh/m2/day. However, solar energy still plays a small role in the Moroccan energy mix, namely in the framework of the rural electrification program, where photovoltaics is used to supply remote villages. Things have changed considerably since the 2009 launch of the Moroccan solar plan. The program foresees that, by 2020, the installed capacity of both CSP and PV will be at least 2,000 MW.  In addition to the five planned sites, the Midelt and Tata projects were added in 2016. Once completed, these plants will allow Morocco to exceed 2,000 MW by 2020.  The table below lists the major completed, in process, or planned on seven sites:
 
Site/PlantPower in MWTechnologyCommissioning
Ouarzazate
NOORo I
NOORo II
NOORo III
NOORo IV
Total: 580
160
200
150
70
 
CSP
CSP
CSP (Solar Tower)
PV
 
2015
2017/2018
2017/2018
2018
MIDELTUp to 600CSP / PV**2019
TATAUp to 600CSP / PV**2019
AIN BENI MAHTAR420CSP / Gas*2020
SEBKHATE TAH500CSP / PV**2020
FOUM AL OUAD500CSP / PV**2020
Boujdour100CSP / PV**2020
** Solar-gas hybrid power station of 420 MW (20 MW in CSP and 400 MW in gas)

** The exact distribution between CSP and PV has not yet been determined. MASEN estimated that it would be approximately 80% CSP and 20% PV. Given that the manufacturing costs of photovoltaic installations have dropped significantly recently, some experts expect an increase in the share of PV.

Investments of approximately $9 billion are planned for 2020 under the solar plan.  In addition, ONEE will develop a series of medium-sized PV power plants (20 to 30 MW) distributed as follows:

 
Site/PlantPower in MWTechnologyCommissioning
NOOR Tafilalet75-100PV2017
NOOR Atlas200PV2018
Not Defined yet100PV2019
In Morocco, solar energy is already competitive: the average production cost at the Ouarzazate site (CSP) is 14 Dollar cents/kWh (source: KfW), and the cost of electricity generated by the Noor IV plant will be 5.8 Dollar cents/kWh, the lowest in the world.  Due to the current evolution of producer prices and the excellent natural conditions in Morocco, CSP can be expected to cost substantially less than 14 Dollar cents/kWh.

Wind Energy:

With a coastline of 3,500 km, Morocco has enormous wind potential.  The technical wind potential is slightly less than 5,000 TWh/year. It would be possible to install useful capacity of 25,000 MW (source: AMEE). At the end of 2015, the capacity installed or about to be put into service totaled approximately 1,160 MW:

 
Site/PlantPower in MW
TARFAYA300
LAAYOUNE50
AKHFENIR200
TANGER I140
KHALLADI120
KOUDIA BAIDA300
HAAOUMA50
 
The Integrated Wind Energy Program adopted in 2010 and also known as the Moroccan "wind plan" aims to double these capacities to bring total capacity to 2,000 MW by 2020.  the energy program covers a total capacity of 1,000 MW, to be carried out in two phases on six sites:
 
Site/PlantPower in MWCommissioning
TAZA1502016/2017
MIDELT1502020
TISKARD3002020
TANGER II1002020
JBEL LAHDID2002020
BOUJDOUR1002020
 
Additional 2000 MWs are planned for 2030.  MASEN will be responsible for the projects and will call for tenders.  Investments of around USD $3.5 billion are planned for 2020 under the wind power plan.

Hydro Power :

Development of  hydropower generation capacity began in the 1960s under the reign of King Hassan II.  Hydro-Electric power is considered a traditional component of the Moroccan power plant (capacity installed by 2016: 1,920 MW) and the potential is already well exploited.  In the short term, we can expect the construction of small power plants or micro-power plants.  Moreover, in Morocco, hydroelectricity production is highly dependent on rainfall.

ONEE recently identified 125 additional sites capable of accommodating small or micro-power plants (100 kW to 1,500 kW), with a potential of approximately 300 MW. These sites are also available for private power producers and can be carried out by them.  By 2030, the energy capacity of micro-hydraulic plants should be 3 GW.  In addition, Morocco is actively involved in pumping technologies (STEP), with a potential of approximately 6 GW.
Major projects to be accomplished by 2020:

 
Site/PlantPower in MW
Abdelmoumen Station of Energy transfer by Pumping Technology (STEP)2 * 175
El Menzel Hydro electric Plant125
M’dez Hydro electric Plant45

Biomass:

In Morocco, biomass and biogas benefit from the country's important agricultural sector and the fact that a large part of the waste consists of organic components.  In addition, the biomass sector will be strengthened to replace fuel oil in the industrial sector.  However, this potential has not yet been the subject of national strategies, although some small companies are already active in this field.

Energy Efficiency:

Morocco demonstrated its commitment to developing it energy efficiency strategy with the adoption of the National Priority Action Plan 2008-2012.  Following a national debate on energy efficiency, the energy efficiency strategy was revised with ambitious targets to improve energy efficiency by 20 percent in 2030 and develop action plans in the sectors of transport, construction, industry, agriculture and street lighting.  A state-Moroccan Agency of energy Efficiency program contract has been finalized for the implementation of this strategy, which will be adopted in 2017.  This strategy will define actions in the following sectors:
  • Industrial sector
  • Construction and technology
  • Building
  • Transportation Infrastructure
  • Public and domestic lighting
It is important to mention that the theme of energy efficiency is attracting increasing interest in Morocco and that this trend will be further strengthened by the expected population growth and economic development.  The nascent investments in energy efficiency mean there is potential for energy efficiency consultancies and for training in these professions.

Fossil fuels

Traditional fossil fuels will continue to play an important role in the Moroccan energy mix in the medium term, especially in the context of a constant increase in electricity consumption. This is manifested by the installation of additional capacities that are under development process since 2015:
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants at Jorf Lasfar (2 x 600 MW) and at a site to be determined (2 x 600 MW)
  • Safi coal-fired power plant (2 x 693 MW)
  • Extension of the Jerada coal-fired power plant (from 165 to 515 MW)
In the field of fossil fuels, Morocco has been putting more emphasis on natural gas since 2005 and has developed corresponding capacities.  The country is also intensifying its exploration of the small reserves of oil and natural gas at its disposalMorocco intends to reduce imports of fossil fuels, which remain inevitable in the medium term.  It should be emphasized, however, that Morocco is investing much more in the development of renewable energies, whose share in the energy mix will continue to increase substantially over the next few years and which will replace fossil fuels.

Over the past five years, Morocco’s consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (butane/propane) has experienced an average growth of 20 percent in volume.  This situation makes Morocco the second largest LPG market in Africa.  The World LPG Association (WLPGA), the world association for the development of LPG in the world, is organizing from October 3 to 5, 2017 in Marrakech, the 30th World Forum of the LPG industry, which is expected to gather more than 2,000 global professionals and experts.

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Morocco Energy Trade Development and Promotion