Morocco energy boss: We need to build electricity bridges between Europe and Africa

(EurActiv, 19 Oct 2019) The solar thermal complex at Noor Ouarzazate in the Atlas mountains is at the heart of Morocco’s renewable energy drive, producing over 580MW of electricity. Mustapha Bakhouri explains the country’s plans to develop its renewable energy programme and build energy connections with Europe.

Mustapha Bakhouri is the president of the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN). He spoke to EURACTIV’s Benjamin Fox.

The Moroccan government has set ambitious targets of increasing their share of energy from renewables to 42% in 2020 and a 52% share by 2030. Are these feasible targets?

Not only these targets are feasible, but we have the ambition to go beyond the levels set for 2030. As of today, production from renewables exceeds 35% with additional capacities under very advanced stages of development (NOOR Midelt Solar Complex, Koudia Al Baida and Taza wind farms) or under construction (Midelt Wind farm).

How much further can the Ouarzazate complex grow? How is the rest of Morocco’s sustainable energy ecosystem developing, and what is its impact on the wider economy?

Ouarzazate region has of course the potential to host additional solar capacities, subject to grid additional investments, however, Masen’s mandate is to develop the renewable energy ecosystem and create socio-economic development opportunities throughout the different regions of the country.

In this context, and in addition to Ouarzazate Complex, Masen has developed projects in the south of Morocco, in the Laayoune and Boujdour regions, in the North  at Koudia Al Baida and Taza and the recent development of Midelt region.

External link

EurActiv, 19 Oct 2019: Morocco energy boss: We need to build electricity bridges between Europe and Africa