The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has experienced a steep increase in energy demand in the past decade, prompted by economic and population growth, and improved living standards. However, the trend is not sustainable in the long term, in particular for net energy-importing countries such as Morocco. In order to ensure the security of energy supply and an energy mix less dependent on hydrocarbons they have focused on renewable energy sources (RES) – solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, etc.
Morocco is a pioneer among MENA countries in establishing a policy and regulatory framework for promoting RES and energy efficiency. Morocco benefits from great solar and wind energy potential, as well as from a key geographical location. Two major RES initiatives – the Moroccan wind and solar projects – have been launched in order to reach the national target of increasing the share of RES in the energy mix to 42% by 2020.
EU-Morocco cooperation on RES (solar energy, in particular) would bring benefits to both sides, as well as challenges. Initiatives already exist, with the Mediterranean Solar Plan as the most significant.
Solar energy technologies can also contribute to local job creation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).