Adani Group, the coal-to-infrastructure Indian conglomerate is said to be in talks with potential partners to construct up to 10GW of wind and solar generation plants in Morocco. Individuals familiar with the proposal told Bloomberg that development is likely to take place in two stages of 5GW each. The electricity generated is likely to be used to produce green hydrogen which could be put for domestic use as well as exports (to Europe). Under the proposals, the firm is also reportedly in talks with the Moroccan state-owned fertilizer maker OCP Group for the sale of green hydrogen, which the fertilizer maker could use as feedstock to produce carbon-free ammonia. For this purpose, the firm also intends to construct a green hydrogen factory in Morocco. The Adani Group, founded by billionaire Gautam Adani, aims to become the world’s largest producer of clean energy by the end of the decade. Produced by splitting water molecules with electrolysis, hydrogen is a clean energy source and a potential alternative to fossil fuels. It is considered ‘green’ if the energy used during manufacturing comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal. North African countries like Morocco and Egypt are considered attractive for green hydrogen production thanks to their abundance of renewable resources and proximity to the European market.
The Moroccan government aims to generate 52% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, partly to reduce dependence on the fossil fuels it imports for energy generation. While coal (38%), natural gas (18%) and hydro (16%) account for the bulk of power production, the country has made steady progress in wind and solar, which contribute 11% and 7%, respectively, to its energy mix. The north African country is home to the 510MW Ouarzazate concentrated solar power plant. The largest of its kind, it stores solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, which enables the production of electricity into the night.
To attract investors, the government of Morocco is working on improving the legislative and regulatory framework governing private-sector renewable energy projects. It has also introduced a one-stop-shop to simplify permitting, land acquisition and state investment guarantees for investors. While Morocco has shown its ability to develop large-scale clean energy schemes, it has been criticised for not enacting regulations that would encourage entrepreneurs to develop smaller green power projects.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Morocco’s renewable energy sector offers opportunities for businesses involved in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), electrical components, solar and wind-generation equipment, and technical training for facilities repair and maintenance, among others.
‘Morocco - country commercial guide’, International Trade Administration, 21 October 2021
‘How Morocco went big on solar energy’, BBC, 19 November 2021
‘Renewable energies: Morocco seeks to exceed 52% its electrical energy mix by 2030 (Minister)’, MAP, 26 January 2022
‘Green hydrogen: A viable option for transforming Africa’s energy sector’, Africa Renewal, 13 July 2022
‘Ouarzazate Solar Power Station’, Wikipedia, 08 September 2022
‘Billionaire Adani to target Europe with huge Morocco clean energy project’, Bloomberg, 21 October 2022