Morocco: Best Practice Case Studies

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Energy programs have been implemented across Africa and by various organizations for over twenty-five years. Programs have evolved and improved by taking advantage of both formal and informal communication of program features and lessons learned.
The Best Practice projects presented herein seek to build experience and knowledge by establishing a structure for sharing best practices to help meet today’s complex energy challenges.

Electrifying Rural Moroccan Households

Morocco’s National Electricity Office, ONE, has developed a programme for the electrification of areas through solar power by a joint venture with EDF, Total and Tenesol. Its activities are based on the creation of small, locally-run companies that provide electricity, water, gas, and telephone services in rural areas in order to stimulate economic activity and contribute to wealth creation.

Implementation Strategy Approach Highlighting Innovative Approach and Implementer

The programme aims to increase access and reduce poverty in peri-urban areas through adopted solutions, including demand side management projects. In regions where housing is scattered, it is impossible for the electricity grid to reach each individual house in a cost-effective way, but by using solar power the inhabitants of these regions can also enjoy the benefits of electricity. The project’s objectives are to:

  • Provide affordable and sustainable rural electrification
  • Improve rural local conditions to decrease rural-urban migration
  • Develop rural economies
  • Increase use of renewable energy

In order to generate its own electricity, each house is fitted with a solar home system in which the solar panel turns the sun’s rays into electricity that is stored in a solar battery that provides electricity at night, and stores enough power to last up to five days. The electronic controller automatically manages the charging and discharging of the battery.

Fees are adapted to the budgets of the local households so that they pay approximately the same amount as was paid previously for candles, gas, batteries, or battery recharging. The fees are lower than the cost of the equipment and maintenance because ONE gives a grant for each installation in order to provide equal energy access opportunities to the Moroccan population. The provision of electricity has improved local conditions by fostering commerce and providing direct employment and high-level-in-house training in technical, quality and customer relations. The solar programme is now being extended to more than 110,000 households, making Morocco the world leader in the use of solar power for rural electrification.

Lessons Learned

  • The joint venture public-private partnership can be very effective where the government authority ensures the overall coherency of rural electrification, identifies the areas to which the solar solution will be the most adapted, defines specifications, selects and mandates the solar operator and ensures the commitments are respected and measured to the satisfaction of customers
  • Incentives for private industry can be provided through grants which provides a solid base for a market in sustainable energy
  • Running small stands at the local soul (market) allows interaction with existing and potential customers fostering a continued market.

Further Information


  • GTZ (2007): Eastern Africa Resource Base: GTZ Online Regional Energy Resource Base: Regional and Country Specific Energy Resource Database: VII - Best Practice Case Studies.