Wind-Power as a Renewable Energy Resource in Morocco

With almost 94 percent of its energy requirements being imported, Morocco has for some years now been implementing various renewable energy programs such as solar power, wind energy and hydroelectricity. The country has been identified by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as having the potential of being a regional leader in renewable energy technologies. In addition to the Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in the Souss-Massa Drâa region, and the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Thermo Solar Combined Cycle Power Plant in the Jerada province of the Oriental region, Morocco has several hydroelectric power stations, including those located at Al Massira Dam, Hassan I Dam, Idriss I Dam and Mohamed V Dam.

Morocco currently has four wind energy farms in operation, all with the potential of being extended. These are located at Tan Tan, Tanger (Dhar Sadane Farm), Essaouira (Tarfayer), and YNNA Bio Power, and are operated by Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité.

Foreign investors appear keen to support Morocco’s programs for the development of renewable energy and in 2012 a total of sixteen companies reportedly submitted bids for participating in wind energy projects, including Siemens (Germany), Enel Green Power (Italy), Acciona Wind Power (Spain) and Vestas (Denmark).

As an added incentive to foreign investment, Morocco has made application to classify most of its projects under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was initiated as part of the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM permits industrialized countries with emission-limitation or emission-reduction commitments to implement emission-reduction projects in developing countries, thereby earning certified emission reduction (CER) credits which can assist them in reaching their Kyoto targets. Apparently a win-win situation for Morocco and investors from countries that have Kyoto Protocol imposed emission-reduction targets.

The Africa Carbon Forum held in Marrakech on 13-15 April 2015 included discussions on measures that can be taken by African countries to increase demand for carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), along with other important information on climate change and the vital role of renewable energy resources.