The European Union (EU) will provide €1.6 billion (~ 17 billion Moroccan Dirhams) to Morocco for financing the country’s energy transition. This new agreement has highlighted Morocco’s importance as a strategic partner for the European continent in its relationship with Africa.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen announced the investment after her meeting with Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Ajanuch in Rabat. The investment would strengthen bilateral ties between both parties, emphasizing cooperation towards green economic development.
EU will invest this amount in Morocco over the period of five years. This investment is the first African scheme in the EU’s €300 billion “Global Gateway” infrastructure plan, which is set to invest the amount over the period 2021-2027 for sustainable infrastructure, digital, and climate projects between the EU and its partners.
Ursula von der Leyen, said “Morocco is a country with which we have built a strategic, close and solid partnership. The funds of the “Global Gateway” come from the European Union’s own resources (18 billion euros of subsidies), funding granted by the 27 Member States, as well as funds from European financial institutions (145 billion euros of investments) and national development institutions (135 billion euros), supported by private investments.”
Previously, the EU has granted 21 million Euros for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Morocco in 2020. This grant was provided through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which enabled local companies to invest in green technologies, implementing energy efficiency and climate adaptation measures.
Morocco’s total installed capacity currently stands at 10,627 MW. According to Morocco’s National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), 36.8% of this total energy is generated from renewable sources. The country’s electricity mix is still dominated by hydrocarbons, with a 52% share, according to the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE).
EU’s investment will contribute to Morocco’s goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix by 52% and reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45.5% by 2030.
Morocco is counting on independent power producers, especially European-based, to increase its share of renewable energy in its electricity mix, expanding the country’s installed capacity. Several IPPs have already invested in clean energy in Morocco, including the investment in the Noor solar complex by France’s EDF Renouvelables, the subsidiary of EDF Group.