Morocco Energy Situation
32.0000° N, 6.0000° W
Total Area (km²): It includes a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways.
Population: It is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin.
Rural Population (% of total population): It refers to people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the difference between total population and urban population.
GDP (current US$): It is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.
GDP Per Capita (current US$): It is gross domestic product divided by midyear population
Access to Electricity (% of population): It is the percentage of population with access to electricity.
Energy Imports Net (% of energy use): It is estimated as energy use less production, both measured in oil equivalents. A negative value indicates that the country is a net exporter. Energy use refers to use of primary energy before transformation to other end-use fuels, which is equal to indigenous production plus imports and stock changes, minus exports and fuels supplied to ships and aircraft engaged in international transport.
Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption (% of total): It comprises coal, oil, petroleum, and natural gas products.
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The Kingdom of Morocco is located on the northwestern boundary of the African continent and the Maghreb region. Besides its western and northern coasts towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, it has a border with Algeria in the east, and claims the territory of Western Sahara as its Southern Provinces. Its territory covers 459.000 km2 or an additional 266.000 km2 if the Western Sahara area is included. Morocco has a population of some 33 million. Its diverse climate is Mediterranean in the north and becomes increasingly arid towards the south, with some Mediterranean conditions prevalent also along the Atlas mountain range. Wind tends to be strongest in the very north and south and to some extent in the very east. Solar irradiation tends to be stronger towards the southern and more continental parts of the country.
Primary Energy Supply
Moroccos primary energy supply reached 18.80 Mtoe in 2012 which translates to 787 PJ or 219 TWh. It has grown significantly and rather steadily from 7.6 Mtoe in 1990 and 11 Mtoe in 2000 to its current value. The share of the various sources of the total primary energy supply in 2012 can be seen in the table below.
|Total primary energy supply 2012|
|Energy Source||ktoe||in PJ||in %|
|Crude Oil and Oil Products
|Biofuels and Waste
|Geothermal, Solar etc.||63
|Electricity (net imports)
Energy consumption in Morocco is increasing rapidly. The table below shows a comparison of final energy consumption in 1992 and 2012.
|Comparison of total final consumption 1992 and 2012 (in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent)|
||Biofuels and Waste
Import and Export
Morocco depends on imports for 91% of energy supply. Import dependency is particularly serious for oil, which still dominates the country's energy mix. 2011-2013, the main exporters of crude oil to Morocco were Saudi Arabia, Irak and Russia. The vast majority of natural gas is imported from Algeria, while a mere 7% is sourced from local production.. In the electricity sector, imports from Spain have increased sharply over the last decade, and covered 2.2% of Moroccan primary energy supply in 2012 (see above).
All energy imports (crude oil and oil products, coal, natural gas and electricity) amounted to 102.5 billion MAD in 2013 (or 27% of all the countrys imports). This is a slight reduction compared to 2012 (106.6 bn MAD) but a very high increase as compared to 2002 (19.1 bn MAD). Taking into account energy exports of a value of 9.26 bn MAD in 2013, the "energy bill" for net imports amounted to 93.2 bn MAD in 2012. Over the medium to long term, Morocco hopes to be able to increasingly produce electricity from renewable energy also for exports to Europe.
While subsidies have for a long time been relatively lower than in other countries in the region, they nevertheless constituted a major strain on the national budget. Since 2012, the Moroccan government is working towards reforming the country’s „caisse de compensation“ which serves to subsidise a number of food and energy commodities. Energy subsidies, in particular, are reduced. 2014 saw the phase-out of all car fuels, as well as a partial increase of electricity tariffs. The latter, however, remain below generation costs, with households paying between 0.9 and 1.44 MAD per kWh depending on monthly consumption levels (social tariff scheme). Regarding butane gas, the considerable subsidies will – for the moment – continue to allow consumers to pay a mere third of the „real“ price.
Africas biggest concentrated solar power plant of 160 MW parabolic trough technology is scheduled to go online as the first plant in the MSP (see below). Further plants to be developed at the same site near Ouarzazate in 2016-2017 will deploy parabolic trough (200 MW), solar tower (100 MW) and photovoltaic (50MW) technologies. A combined gas-solar power plant is already in use near Ain Beni Mathar (20 MW of which consists of parabolic trough technology).
While the share of solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity at the five major MSP sites is not yet determined, additional programmes are under development which will make this a very important generation technology in the future. The national utility ONEE is tasked with implementing a 400-MW programme of medium-sized PV power plants in the 20-30 MW range. A small number of larger PV rooftop installations already exist in Morocco, e.g. at the Casablanca airport, three buildings of the ministry in charge of energy, water and environment (MEMEE), the Moroccan agency for renewable energy and energy efficiency (ADEREE), universities, and the “Technoparc” in Casablanca. PV had first made its entry into the Moroccan market through the rural electrification programme PERG, which from 2003 started to deploy solar home systems in the most isolated areas where grid extension was more difficult to achieve.
Solar hot water has not developed according to its potential in Morocco. With 350,000 m2 installed in 2013, the government seeks to reach 1.7 million m2 by 2020. A national promotion programme ("Shemsi") is in preparation.
Morocco in 2017 had around 128,000 homes powered by solar home systems, among the top 3 countries in Africa for the adoption of this technology.
Quality Label for PV System Installations
In December 2018, Morroco launched a quality label for PV system installations called, taqa pro. The label helps to register small and medium-sized PV systems installers as well as those in solar pumping. The customers can then use the label to benefit form reliable and sustainalbe installtion. The label consist of control list of key norms and technical standards for installers, three training and examination programmes, a self-commitment ethical charter, an online platform on which certified installers are registered, and a control-system based on random checks and complaints by clients.
link to the label: http://taqapro.ma/
Data gathered from a wind energy evaluation programme of CDER, with support from GIZ, confirms that Morocco has several areas with an excellent wind energy potential, particularly in the greater Essaouira, Tanger 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 areas (with average annual wind speeds at a height of 40 m ranging from 7.5 m/s to 9.5 m/s).
Morocco currently (March 2015) has an installed wind power capacity of 787 MW. Three wind farms (250 MW) are operated by ONEE, another four (537 MW) by private companies (under law 13-09). 1000 additional MW will be connected by 2020 at 6 different sites through the Moroccan wind programme (see below) Two further private wind farms of 100 MW and 120 MW are also under construction.
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. Sahara Wind has conducted wind surveys and investigated the possibility of building a high voltage power transmission line between Morocco and Western Europe.
Biomass incl. biogas
In Morocco, the major form of renewable energy is biomass, mostly in the traditional form of fuel, wood or charcoal for heating and cooking purposes. A national programme for the energy use of biomass ("valorisation de la biomasse" is in the planning phase. In terms of power use, there are plans for an installed capacity of 400 MW by 2030. Charcoal production has dropped by almost 13% in the recent past from about 3,398.6 kt in 2010 to about 2,976.8 kt in 2011. Biogas is not yet used much in Morocco, though there are plans for recovery projects at the Agadir, Fes and Marrakech water treatment plants.
In 2014, 1,360 GWh were produced from hydro power in 26 hydro power stations operated by ONEE. In addition, hydro power comes partly from a 464 MW pumped storage power plant near Beni Mallal/Afourer. In Oued Oum Er Rbia, micro hydro power stations shall be developed in the future. For that purpose, a programme has been set up to identify potential sites of which 200 could be identified. Furthermore, pilot projects are to be operated and evaluated now or soon; the development, financing and construction of more stations will be pursued in the future.
Installed Capacity and Generation
In 2013, the amount of electricity produced by the public utility ONEE and independent power producers totaled 27,781 GWh.. 11.5% of generation came from renewable sources (mainly hydro, then wind and others) in 2013, while 38% was based on coal, 18.4% on natural gas and 14.3% on oil.
Total installed capacity at the end of 2013 was 7,892 MW, of which 31% consisted of renewable power capacity.
Due to demographic and economic growth, electricity demand grew at an average annual rate of 6.7% from 2003 to 2013, leading to an energy consumption of 32,015 GWh at the end of that year. Annual consumption per capita has steadily increased from 483 kWh in 2002 to 843 kWh (preliminary, estimation) in 2013.
|Electricity Consumption in 2011||in GWh||in %|
|Commercial and Public Services||5,640||22|
In 2013, the transmission grid, owned by the state utility ONEE, consisted of almost 23000 km, of which 9220 km of 225 kV lines and 1753 km of 400 kV lines. It covers the entire country and is connected to the Algerian and Spanish power grids via regional links. A connection to Mauritania is being studied. The capacity of the connection between Morocco and Spain is 1,400 MW via two 400 kV subsea cables, with a third interconnection in progress. The connection with Algeria is a 1,500 MW connection via one 400 kV line and two 225 kV lines.
The retail of electricity to the final consumers is in the responsibility of ONEE for most of the territory, seven local municipal authorities (»Régies«) (Marrakech, Fès, Meknes Tétouan Safi, El Jadida-Azemmour and Larache-Ksar El Kébir) and four private companies (»gestion déléguée«) using ONEE’s grid in Casablanca, Rabat-Salé, Tanger, Kénitra.
In recent years, Morocco has made great progress in providing grid power to its population. In 1996, ONE launched a national electrification programme named Programme pour l’Electrification Rurale Global (PERG). The rate of rural electrification was only 18 % in 1995 before the programme started, but rose steadily to 97.4 % by the end of 2011. ONE does not indicate whether the electrification figure is calculated with respect to households or villages, but gives numbers of electrified households and villages: 34,070 villages, or 1,938,747 households, had been provided with an electricity supply by the end of 2011 through the scope of the PERG programme. Even villages situated long distances from the power grid now have a basic decentralised electricity supply, stemming from renewable energy sources. By the end of 2011, 51,559 households in 3,663 villageswere equipped with PV kits.
Electricity tariffs for final consumers (residential and professional) are fixed by decree from the prime minister. As the government seeks to reduce subsidies and therefore increase prices, tariffs are relatively high by regional standards but remain below generation costs.
Residential tariffs are structured in a way to enable differentiation according to the amount consumed (and thus presumed wealth of the household clients). Prices range from 0.9 MAD per kWh for up to 100 kWh / month to 1.49 MAD per kWh beyond 500 kWh / month. Tariffs were increased for some of the tariff ranges in August 2014, and a change in the calculation method was introduced which - generally speaking - would have clients pay all of their kWh consumed at the cost of their most expensive kWh, i.e. the highest price range reached in a given month.
Professional tariffs are differentiated in a similar way to residential tariffs for low voltage connections, while different tariffs in the medium-voltage level are differentiated according to the time of day and season, ranging from 0.61 MAD per kWh to 1.33 MAD per kWh.
Rural customers have the possibility to participate in a prepaid system based on pre-paid meters. For electrical supply, the customer can purchase the desired amounts via rechargeable cards sold for 20 MAD.
Energy Policy and Strategy
The Moroccan energy policy is faced with a number of serious challenges:
- High energy import dependency (see above) negatively affects the country's balance of trade.
- Subsidies heavily burden the national budget, while their phase out tends to lack social acceptance.
- State-utility ONEE is in a constantly difficult economic situation.
- While an energy regulation authority is in preparation, vested interests hamper the modernisation of the sector.
- A new international climate agreement is expected to place increased responsibility on emerging economies.
In 2009, Morocco adopted a national energy strategy in order to improve security of energy supply and availability/affordability, while also addressing environmental and safety concerns. The strategy seeks to reach these goals by diversifying energy sources, optimizing the electricity mix, increasing local production particularly from renewable sources, promoting energy efficiency, and advancing regional integration. The strategy is to be implemented though energy sector reforms, including particularly legislative changes, increased transparency and competition, as well as capacity building.
Renewable Energy Policy
The Moroccan Solar Plan (MSP) aims to install 2 GW of solar-based generation capacity by 2020 and is implemented mainly by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), with the first plant scheduled to go online near Ouarzazate in 2015 and the next ones in 2016-2017 (see above). Beyond Ouarzazate, four other sites, beginning with Midelt and Tata, will host further solar power plants.
The Moroccan wind energy programme (“Plan éolien intégré”), managed by ONEE, seeks to reach the government target of 2 GW of installed wind power by 2020 for an investment of 3.5 billion USD. This would result in an annual production of some 6600 GWh and avoid C02 emissions of 5.6m tons / year. Many projects are already underway (see above). For 2030, 5520 MW of installed wind power are foreseen.
In terms of hydropower, the Moroccan government has also established a target of 2 GW by 2020. Given that 1300 MW are already installed, this target may seem less ambitious than the solar and wind targets. However, many of the existing hydro stations are in need of rehabilitation work.
Taken together, the three government targets of 2 GW each for solar, wind and hydro power are to lead to a share of 42% of installed power capacity from renewable energy in 2020. According to the energy strategy, renewable energy is to provide 10-12% of primary energy supply in 2020, up from 5% in 2009.
A number of laws have been enacted since 2008 to improve the regulatory environment for renewable energy. These include in particular:
- Law 16-08 permitted for auto-generation of electricity though renewable energy installations by industrial clients up to 50 MW.
- The so-called renewable energy law 13-09 allows energy developers to invest in renewable energy projects and sell the electricity to a chosen client – even for export – on the basis of a negotiated contract. Opening up the medium, high and very high voltage levels for private power producers this law brings about competition in electricity production, though some developers complain about slow authorisation procedures, particularly in terms of technical approval through ONEE. Also, a decree is still missing (and currently under preparation) which is required for projects on the medium-voltage level.
- Through law 16-09 the renewable energy agency ADEREE was formed as a successor of the more research-focused CDER. Likewise, law 57-09 established the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy MASEN.
Energy Efficiency Policy
The national energy strategy puts a strong emphasis on the importance of energy efficiency and suggests some specific measures – some of which have since been implemented, while others are still underway. The government has set itself the objective to reach 12% energy efficiency gain (against a business-as-usual scenario) by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
In 2011, the law on energy efficiency (47-09) was enacted, setting limits on energy consumption of equipment and devices (e.g. household appliances), buildings and vehicles, providing for energy efficiency incentives in road transport, buildings and industry, as well as prescribing energy impact assessments and audits. The regulation was further specified with the décret 2-13-874 of 2014 which defines energy efficiency requirements for new buildings in the residential and service sector according to climatic zones and defines a national committee on energy efficiency in buildings which is headed by MEMEE.
Following the energy strategy, the government also launched some immediate measures to improve energy efficiency, including a programme for the installation of energy-efficient light-bulbs (leading to a reduction of peak power demand by 173 MW and power savings of 700 GWh) and (from 2008 onwards) changing the local time to GMT+1 during summer (leading to a reduction of peak demand by 80 MW)
Key Actors in the Energy Sector
Governmental Bodies and Agencies
ONEE (Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable) is a public law company answering to the Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment (MEMEE) and has been responsible for the generation and transmission of electricity in Morocco since 1963. It operates as a single buyer and owns the transmission and most of the distribution grid. Since 1994, power plants with capacities up to 10 MW can also be built and operated by private enterprises, and above 50 MW on the condition that the project was subject to open tendering and all power produced is sold to ONEE. This opening of the electricity market is governed by law no. 2-94-503 dated 23 September 1994 and forms part of an attempt to offer electricity to consumers at internationally competitive prices. In a policy decision in 2001, it was determined that this objective was to be achieved through the opening of the Moroccan electricity market with respect to electricity generation, distribution and sale in several stages, but little effort has been made to realise this decision. One measure in 2008 was to allow IPPs to operate power plants of up to 50 MW installed capacity instead of the previous threshold of 10 MW. In 2009 Law 13-09 has passed which specially authorizes private generation of power from renewable source of energy. According to RCREEE, currently the total capacity of IPPs producing renewable energy consitutes 124 MW while the total generation capacity of conventional electricity is 1 704 MW.
Regarding the supporting policies public tendering of large-scale wind and solar power projects constitutes the main mechanisms. There is no obligation to conclude long-term power purchase agreements with private producers of renewable energies. Neither feed-in tariffs nor a net-metering policy for small-scale are available for renewable energie projects.
However, IPPs still have to rely on ONEE’s cooperation as there is no regulating authority established in Morocco. Currently it is always compulsory to deal with ONEE in its role as a single buyer and operator of the transmission network. Another goal of the further opening of the electricity market is to divide the Moroccan electricity market into two parts, an open market segment and a regulated one. Customers will be split into eligible and non-eligible customers, depending on a threshold based on annual consumption. This threshold has not yet been defined. Eligible clients will be able to choose whether to purchase electricity from the open or from the regulated market. Switching will be possible according to rules not yet defined. Those not belonging to the category of eligible customers shall continue to purchase their electricity from the regulated market at officially determined prices in order to secure the supply of power to private households with a low voltage connection at prices set by the state.
There are several funding mechanisms in Morocco. In 2008 an energy investment company for developping renewable energy (SIE) was created by law 40-08. SIE intends to support RE development and contains a capital of 1 million DH. While 71% are endorsed by the state, the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Developpent account for 29%. Moreover the Energy Development Fund (FDE) was established in 2010 and contains a capital of 1 billion USD. The Hassen II fund contributes with 200 million, 300 millions are endorsed by UAE and 500 million by Saudi-Arabia. Legally, there is no policy that provides financial guarentee to private investors to ensure payment under power purchase agreement. Morocco also do not offer any fiscal incentives like tax or duty benefits (except for tax deduction for solar water heating appliances).
- Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment (MEMEE)
- Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (CDER)
- Agence Nationale pour le Développement des Energies Renouvelables et l'Efficacité Energetique (ADEREE)
- Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN)
- L’Association Marocaine des Industries Solaires et Eoliennes (AMISOLE)
- Office National de l’Electricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE)
- Jorf Lasfar Electricity Company (JLEC)
- Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) Unité des Technologies et Economie des Energies Renouvelables (TEER)
- Delattre Levivier Maroc (DLM)
Bilateral Energy Cooperation with Germany
Starting as far back as 1961, Morocco is today a priority partner country of German development cooperation, with energy as one of the main sectors. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is currently engaged in Morocco through several projects:
- The project PAPEM supports the evolution of Morocco's regulatory and institutional environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency development.
- The Moroccan-German energy partnership (PAREMA) provides a platform to harmonise energy policies and bolster bilateral exchange on energy matters including governmental and non-governmental actors.
- The regional project PSMéd supports energy strategy development in Morocco to improve framework conditions for sustainable energy with an emphasis on regional integration and market preparation.
- The regional project DIAPOL-CE supports the development of energy scenarios and the legislation for renewable electricity in the low-voltage grid.
- The project PETEEER supports the promotion of employment and economic development by promoting the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in mosques.
- The project DKTI I seeks to extend knowledge and build capacity in Moroccan companies, research institutions and in vocational training in the area of renewable energy.
- The project DKTI III supports the provinces of Midelt and Tata in realising the socio-economic development potential arising from renewable energy and energy efficiency, including in the context of the solar energy power plant projects.
- The regional project RE-ACTIVATE strives to promote employment in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the MENA-region.
The National Metrology Institute of Germany (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB) is implementing a regional project in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The project "Strengthening Quality Infrastructure for Solar Thermal Energy" aims at improving testing, metrology and certification of solar water heating systems and supports university institutes with regard to education of quality infrastructure in the solar energy sector.
- Kingdom of Morocco (official portal)
- Morocco entry in The World Factbook
- Morocco information on Renewable Energy Policy Network (REN21) Map
- Morocco (2014) Policy and Regulatory overviews (reegle)
- Auswärtiges Amt, Länderinformationen Marokko, Stand: Dezember 2014 (retrieved on 10 March 2015): http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Aussenpolitik/Laender/Laenderinfos/01-Nodes_Uebersichtsseiten/Marokko_node.html
- International Energy Agency (2014), Morocco In-Depth Energy Review
- Ministère de l'Énergie, des Mines, de l'Eau et de l'Environnement: chiffres clés du secteur de l'énergie http://www.mem.gov.ma/SitePages/ChiffresCles1/ChCleEnAnnuels.aspx Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "Moroccan Energy Ministry" defined multiple times with different content
- UNESCO 2007: Les énergies renouvelables au Maroc – Le débat est lancé Rabat, Morocco 2007
- Moroccan Energy Ministry MEMEE (retrieved on 30 March 2015): http://www.mem.gov.ma/SitePages/GrandsChantiers/DEEREnergieEolienne.aspx
- Moroccan state-owned utility ONEE (retrieved on 30 March 2015): http://www.one.org.ma/FR/pages/interne.asp?esp=2&id1=5&id2=54&id3=44&t2=1&t3=1
- For further information: www.saharawind.com
- Ministère de l'Energie, des Mines, de l'Eau et de environmental; Département de l'Energie et des Mines (2011), "Statistique Energetiques", pg. 4
- Cf. 'chiffres clés 2013' on ONEE website (retrieved 30.03.2015) at http://www.one.org.ma/FR/pages/interne.asp?esp=2&id1=4&id2=52&t2=1
- 2011 Electrictiy and Heat for Morocco http://www.iea.org/statistics/statisticssearch/report/?&country=MOROCCO&year=2011&product=ElectricityandHeat
- For further information, see ONEE, at http://www.one.org.ma/FR/pages/interne.asp?esp=2&id1=4&id2=53&id3=40&t2=1&t3=1
- For more detailed information on residential tariffs, see ONEE website at http://www.one.org.ma/FR/pages/interne.asp?esp=1&id1=3&id2=113&t2=1
- For more detailed information on professional tariffs, see ONEE website at http://www.one.org.ma/FR/pages/interne.asp?esp=1&id1=2&id2=35&t2=1
- For further information, see MASEN's presentation of the MSP at http://www.masen.org.ma/index.php?Id=42&lang=en
- Renewable Energy Law 13-09: http://www.mem.gov.ma/SiteAssets/PdfDocumentation/LoiEnergiesRenouvelables.pdf
- ADEREE Law 16-09: http://www.mem.gov.ma/SiteAssets/PdfDocumentation/LoiADEREE.pdf
- MASEN Law 57-09: http://www.mem.gov.ma/SiteAssets/PdfDocumentation/LoiMASEN.pdf
- Energy Efficiency Law 47-09: http://bit.ly/1CgG23M
- MEMEE - Efficacité énergétique: http://www.mem.gov.ma/SitePages/GrandsChantiers/DEEREfficaciteEnergetique.aspx
- RCREEE Morocco Energy Profile 2012: http://www.rcreee.org/morocco/