Wind Energy Country Analyses Morocco

From energypedia
Revision as of 13:44, 22 July 2019 by ***** (***** | *****) (→‎Further Information)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)


Until now, there is no legal procedure on how wind power plants are granted permission to produce electricity and to feed it into the grid. So far, close cooperation with the state power utility Office National d'Electricité (ONE) is crucial to be able to build and operate wind farms, but during the past year, many developers have been reported to be dissatisfied with ONE’s information and cooperation policy. The new law on renewable energies (Law No. 09.13 as approved by the parliament on 13 January 2010) is poised to improve this situation, but no prediction can be made presently on how effective the new law will be in this respect.

Framework Conditions for Wind Energy[1]

To operate a wind farm, Independent Power Producers (IPP) will first have to go through an open tender and negotiate the conditions under which their electricity would be sold to ONE. This process would take a longer time and would be more subject to ONE’s cooperation, as no regulating authority has been established so far. Autoproducers do not need to go through a tendering process; however, they also have to negotiate the exact conditions with ONE if they need to use ONE’s grid to transport the electricity from the site of production to the site of consumption.

ONE has launched a wind farm programme called "EnergiPro 1 000 MW Initiative“. A database of potential wind sites in the North and South will be developed. Furthermore, the framework for grid connection shall be set and harmonized. For that purpose, an EnergiPro-team is established to act as interface between project developers and the employees responsible for grid connection within ONE to simplify procedures. The EnergiPro programme shall support the Moroccan aim to increase the share of renewable energies by 2012. At present, 15 projects have applied for this initiative, together they account for 869 MW. This is not the 1 000 MW envisaged by the programme, but according to information from ONE, no more capacity can be supported by the existing grid.[2]

►Go to Top

Wind Energy Potential

Data gathered from a wind energy evaluation programme of the Centre for the Development of Renewable Energies (Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables - CDER), with support from GTZ, confirms that Morocco has several areas with an excellent wind energy potential, particularly in the greater Essaouira, Tangier and Tétouan areas (where average annual wind speeds at a height of 40 m range from 9.5 m/s to 11 m/s) and in the Dakhla, Tarfaya and Taza region (with average annual wind speeds at a height of 40 m ranging from 7.5 m/s to 9.5 m/s).[3]

At present the third phase of this project is running, in which wind measurements at the mountainous Atlas and Rif regions are conducted. Wind speeds at the height of 40 m can be found in a presentation by CDER.[4]

The Sahara Wind Project, supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, is looking at developing the wind potential in Northwest Africa in order to supply energy to Europe.[5] Sahara Wind has conducted wind surveys and investigated the possibility of building a high voltage power transmission line between Morocco and Western Europe.

The InWEnt study ‘Wind Regimes of Africa’ published in May 2004 includes an extensive chapter on the wind conditions in Morocco.[6]

►Go to Top

Current Use of Wind Energy and Project Pipeline

At the end of 2009, the total installed capacity of wind farms in Morocco amounted to about 288 MW. The individual wind farms are listed in the following table.

Capacity [MW]
Average annual production [GWh]
Al Kouida
Al Kouida
Investment Bank







Lafarge Ciments
Lafarge Ciments
Aliments et Proteins
du Nord SARL
04/2009 (107 MW)


exp. 200 MW in 2011

100 MW in 2012


International Power (UK)
Nareva Holding (Morocco)
under construction

Foum El Oued
under construction

under construction

A 3.5 MW wind farm was erected at the Al Koudia Al Baïda site (Tlat Taghramt in TétouanProvince, 40 km east of Tangier) in late 2000 at a cost of approximately 6 million €. The German Development Bank KfWprovided a low-interest loan of 4.35 million € for this scheme, which uses German turbine technology (Enercon). The wind farm is being operated by ONE. Another wind farm at the same location, this one with a rated power of 50 MW, entered service in August 2000 with the help of a 24.4 million € loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The cost of generating the electricity was calculated at 3.7 to 5.5 euro cents/kWh (0.4-0.6 DH/ kWh). This wind farm is privately owned by Théoliabased on a BOT contract with ONE (ownership of the wind farm will be transferred entirely to ONE after 20 years).

The wind park in Tetouan belonging to Lafarge Ciments uses the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The wind farm consists of 12 turbines, each rated 850 kW. The total costs of the park amounted to 9.9 million € and it was expected that the annually generated electricity would cover about 50 % of the electricity consumed by Lafarge Ciments. In times of excess production, ONE is purchasing the electricity.

Essaouirawind farm consists of 71 turbines, each rated at 850 kW. Projects costs added up to around 72 million € and the annual electricity production was estimated at 210 GWh.

A shrimp-processing factory in Tangieris using two second-hand 80 kW turbines to cover a part of its own electricity needs. The reconditioned turbines were supplied and installed by a Dutch company in June 2005. Thanks to average wind speeds of 6.5 m/s at the site, the two systems were considered to provide 386 000 kWh of electricity per year. Any surplus energy produced will be fed into the public grid. In addition to these already existing wind farms, several projects are planned.

To a lesser extent, wind energy is also being exploited for the purposes of distributed rural electrification. For example, a pair of 25 kW wind generating systems and a 15 kW unit were installed in the province of Essaouira. Together, these systems supply electricity to 123 households. According to CDER, in Morocco presently 300 off-grid wind power plants and roughly 5,000 wind driven pumps are in use.

Industrial companies are also beginning to make use of wind energy on a decentralised basis. As large electricity consumers, they have the possibility to autoproduce their electricity and have it transported from production site to consumption site via ONE’s grid. Furthermore, surplus electricity will be fed into the public grid and bought from ONE at a fixed rate (see chapter on support schemes). Lafarge Ciments, who implemented the first project on wind energy autoproduction, provides two reasons for their project: Through own production it is possible to cut energy costs (especially as the cement industry uses a great deal of electricity itself) and to prove environmental commitment. Being registered as a CDM project, extra revenues through the sale of emission credits accrue.

►Go to Top

Business Climate

Import conditions to Morocco are good, but administrative processes can sometimes be lengthy. For goods from the EU, the import duties are reduced step by step and will finally reach 0 % in 2012. The industrial levels in Morocco are steadily growing. With regard to wind energy, DLM is already present in the Moroccan market producing towers for wind turbines. In December 2008, the German SIAG Schaaf AG, a tower manufacturing company, began to build a factory in Egypt with the aim to also sell their products to wind projects in Morocco. Furthermore, the company is currently considering to establish a production facility in Morocco. For the automotive sector, electronic devices are produced locally and this knowledge might also be transferred to the wind sector. A subsidiary of Airbus in Casablanca is experienced in blade production.

Financing of the current wind projects in Morocco has mainly been achieved by ONE with support from international donors such as KfW (and their German Development Corporation DEG) or Worldbank. In 2008, the King of Morocco together with Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has established the »Fund for the Energy Development« which is dedicated to renewable energies and energy efficiency. The budget of this fund is 1 billion US$. There is no structure for the disbursement of this fund in place yet, but the results of a study to set up this structure are expected in autumn 2009.

Some universities and other institutions are developing courses in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The course programmes are not always in accordance with international standards yet, though the experience of lecturers and the available training equipment might still need to be improved. Very interesting and promising in this regard is a programme set up by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Casablanca which focuses on the re-integration of Moroccan young professionals/experts that have studied or have been trained or have worked in Germany. This programme could provide a chance for employees in the wind sector to return to Morocco with practical and theoretical knowledge gathered in Germany.

►Go to Top

Further Information

►Go to Top


  1. GTZ (2009) Energy-policy Framework Conditions for Electricity Markets and Renewable Energies, German Technical Cooperation
  2. Mr. Driss Ourraoui, ONE
  3. UNESCO 2007
  4. Haddouche A.(2006) Renewable Energy Policy and Wind Energy in Morocco, General Director of CDER (Morocco), Berlin Oktober 18-19, 2006
  5. For further information:
  6. Jargstorf, Benjamin (2004): Factor 4 Energy Projects GmbH: Wind Regimes of Africa – Comparative Evaluation of Wind Data from Selected Countries