“Fantastic” “that’s so attractive to ignore,” said World Bank senior energy expert Mark Leybourne.
In a current report on rising wind energy markets, Leybourne stated that wind energy show great efficiency for Morocco.
If the potential is broken properly, Morocco could become one of the prime energy exporters to the European market.
Morocco has a “fantastic” offshore wind resource “that is too attractive to ignore,” said World Bank senior energy specialist Mark Leybourne.
In a recent report on emerging wind energy markets, Leybourne said that wind energy represents great potential for Morocco.
If the potential is exploited properly, Morocco could become one of the main energy exporters to the European market.
“This could bring substantial economic benefits, particularly if the European hydrogen market grows as predicted,” said the expert.
The Moroccan coast along the Atlantic Ocean has excellent wind speeds in shallow and deep water, the report emphasized. Conditions are suitable for offshore wind turbines.
The document highlighted several areas on Morocco’s west coast that are suitable for fixed-foundation offshore wind turbines, including the country’s southernmost region, which has the potential to generate 11 gigawatts (GW), and the central region, with one generation 10 GW potential.
As for floating offshore wind turbines, there are several areas off the west coast with waters up to 1,000 meters deep and with wind speeds reaching more than nine meters per second. The regions have a total technical potential of 135 GW.
Meanwhile, floating wind turbines off Morocco’s northern coasts, in the Mediterranean, have the potential to generate 43 GW, Leybourne added.
The country already has access points to the electricity grid near the potential development areas. However, according to the report, the country should reinforce its infrastructure to transmit power to the regions of Rabat and Casablanca, which have high energy demands.
If Morocco were to develop offshore wind projects, it could sell energy to its European neighbors Spain and Portugal. The two countries have not yet deployed similar projects but are planning to do so, the report concluded.
Morocco’s renewable energy vision
The projects would not only let Morocco position itself on the European energy market, but would also bring it closer to its renewable energy goals.
Morocco aims to make 42% of its energy production renewable by the end of 2020 and increase the share of renewable energy to 52% in 2030.
At the end of 2019, Morocco’s renewable energy capacity reached 3,685 megawatts (MW), including 700 MW of solar energy, 1,215 MW of wind power, and 1,770 MW of hydroelectricity.
The country’s objective is to reach 6,000 MW renewable energy production before the end of 2020–a goal that is attainable, according to the Moroccan Agency for Renewable Energy (MASEN).
In January, the agency announced the upcoming 2020 launches of several solar energy and wind power projects.
Morocco’s renewable energy is currently produced by four solar plants and 11 wind power plants. The concentrated solar power plant of Noor Ouarzazate has the highest capacity, with 580 MW. In the wind power sector, the Tarfaya plant has the highest capacity, with 301 MW.