Morocco on ambitious power drive
GOVERNMENT| March 22, 2012, 11:10 a.m.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that Morocco has embarked on a very ambitious electricity generation capacity-build programme, in order to raise installed capacity from 6,350 MW in 2010 to 14,500 MW by 2020, as electricity consumption is expected to almost double in the corresponding period.
The report says robust growth in electricity demand has underlined the need for a significant expansion in future generation, and transmission capacity in Morocco. This is creating considerable investment opportunities for private sector participation. Surging demand, and a strong need to reduce dependency from expensive coal and oil imports, have motivated the recent development of the renewable energy sector.
The Moroccan electricity market has been growing steadily at nearly 6-8% annually in the last ten years, following vigorous economic development and the implementation of a very successful rural electrification programme. This trend is expected to continue at about 5-7% for the next ten years, following GDP growth forecasts of 5.5%.
Frost & Sullivan says Investments will reach an estimated MAD 138 billion in new generation infrastructure (2012-2020) and MAD 21.3 billion in network expansion (2011-2015). Renewable energy should account for 18% of power generation by 2012 and 42% by 2020.
"In an attempt to develop all energy resources available in the country, and to reduce its dependence on imported coal, the Moroccan government has decided to launch an ambitious wind and solar power programme," notes Frost & Sullivan's Energy and Power Systems Research Analyst Celine Paton. "This renewable energy programme aims to build 4,000 MW of additional capacity by 2020."
Ambitious new investment projects, particularly new generation facilities using clean coal and renewable energies, are poised to help Morocco meet its rising electricity demand over the next decade.
"Regional integration with neighbouring countries (Spain and the Maghreb) will also further secure power supply within the country, fulfilling Morocco's aspiration to become the power crossroads between Africa and Europe," concludes Paton. "Furthermore, the upcoming law on the restructuring of the sector (separating generation, transmission and distribution activities, and establishing an independent regulatory body), and the progressive sector's liberalisation, should enhance transparency and promote further private sector participation."
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