Morocco on the way to ensuring its energy sovereignty

After the health crisis which upset the context and the conditions of the world economy, the Russian-Ukrainian one came to anchor this upheaval. A combination of circumstances that gave rise to a harsh economic situation, marked by galloping inflation. The new conditions laid bare the weakness of several energy importing countries. Situation which, according to specialists, calls into question the subject of energy supply.

This subject was the subject of debate during the Matinale organized on September 20 by the “Le Matin” Group, in partnership with the “Eaton” company, specializing in electrical and hydraulic systems, under the theme: ” Which model to secure the supply of economic actors? “. In his opening remarks, the President of the “Le Matin” Group, Mohammed Haitami, recognized the complex nature of energy supply, indicating that “this is why we have decided to focus this Morning on the electrical energy and the model for securing the supply of economic players”.

Energy supply in Morocco: a promising reality

According to ONEE, the volume of national electricity production increased by 3.2% at the end of the first half of 2022, following a 2.2% increase in the second quarter of the same year and 4.2% in its first quarter. This improvement, at the end of June 2022, stems in particular from the increase in the production of the National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) by 31.6% and that of renewable energies relating to the law 13-09 by 10%, mitigated by the withdrawal of private production by 4.7%.

Despite a remarkable improvement in national electricity production, efforts are continuing to produce the expected good results. Indeed, the Institute for Research in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) announced, on the 14th of the current month, that it had completed the installation of its first green hydrogen production system on a micropilot scale, in as part of its “Power-to-X μPilot” project. It is an electrolyser with a capacity of 20 kilowatts (kW), coupled to photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which will be tested under variable load of renewable electricity.

“Today, in Europe, 1000 KW are negotiated at 1000 euros, the equivalent of 10 DH for a single KW, without mentioning the additional costs which could increase the price up to 20 DH. We are witnessing an exceptional situation, this is due to the non-anticipation of the Russian-Ukrainian war which led to the shutdown of nuclear and coal-fired power plants for previously indicated constraints”, notes, during the Morning, Ali Elharati, President of the National Federation of Electricity, Electronics and Renewable Energies (FENELEC).

Electrical energy: what prospects for Morocco and Africa

Despite its repercussions on the national and global economy, “the pandemic has led us to rethink our development model, the Ukrainian crisis has also accelerated the process”, underlines, for her part, Nasma Jroundi, expert in sustainable development, energy and climate. She then decreed that the time has come to “question our model and our energy sovereignty, depend less on imports of fossil fuels and take advantage of the extraordinary potential we have in terms of renewable energies”.

During the second edition of the Conference of Member States of the Sedimentary Basin (MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power), the Director General of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), Amina Benkhadra, underlined that thanks to the vision of His Majesty the King, Morocco has begun since the beginning of the 21st century a period marked by major infrastructure achievements and several structuring projects, particularly in the fields of electrification, transport and renewable energies.

In this sense, she indicated that the generalized rural electrification program constitutes an example of success to be shared in Africa, adding that this program has made it possible to achieve, until today, an electrification rate of more than 99% against only 18% in 1995, thanks to the strategy implemented in this respect by the National Electricity Office.

More effort to put into training

If the specialists believe that Morocco is on the right path in terms of energy production, the reality seems less promising when it comes to the training of executives in the field. “Morocco is lagging behind in terms of training, we must train our labor sources, and even our engineers so that they become able to support the development experienced by the energy sector at the national level”, indicates Nasma Jroundi, while pointing out that “training institutes for renewable energy and energy efficiency professions (IFMEREE) have fallen far behind”. And to add that “Morocco must have three (institutes), that of Oujda is operational, that of Tangier has just opened its doors, but what about the Settat project? “.

It should be noted that the main mission of the IFMEREEs is to contribute, in a concrete way, to the success of the national energy strategy, by providing the renewable energy sector with the skills it needs for its development.

In this regard, the IFMEREEs must provide initial training courses for technicians specializing in the renewable energy and energy efficiency professions, continuing and advanced training sessions for the benefit of employees of companies in the sector, and participation in research work, laboratory tests, technical assistance, advice, etc.

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