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Morocco Invests Over $13B in Energy Sector

Morocco Invests Over $13B in Energy Sector

Monday, 8 April, 2019 - 12:30
An aerial view of the solar plant of Ouarzazate in central Morocco. (AP)
Marrakesh- Lahssen Moqana

Moroccan Minister for Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development Aziz Rabbah has announced that the amount of investments in the country has exceeded MAD130 billion (USD13.7 billion), noting that the government has adopted a "national preference" approach in selecting projects.

Speaking at a press conference on the fields of energy and sustainable development, Rabbah underlined that Morocco has made notable development in the field of scientific research related to the energy sector, particularly renewable energy.

Rabbah added that Morocco’s progress in the field, in addition to its strong potential, has prompted world-leading companies in the energy sector to contribute to developing its energy sector.

He said that thanks to the national energy strategy adopted in 2009, Morocco’s reliance on foreign countries for electricity reduced from 98 percent to 92 percent.

He said the government is evaluating the first 10 years after the adoption of the strategy that aims to gradually move towards renewable energies.

Furthermore, he praised the major and rapid shifts witnessed by the sector, including expansion of local production of components and equipment and a 40 percent reduction in the prices of clean energy equipment over three years.

He explained that these developments have changed the vision for incentive measures and sector support measures, noting that the discussions highlighted several options including tax exemptions to encourage the acquisition of solar energy equipment by individuals, companies and agricultural farms.

He also referred to the introduction of the use of solar pumps in the field of agricultural irrigation. He said the government was planning to launch a special support fund for the acquisition of such agricultural equipment.

However, the low prices of the equipment made farmers move to the market to buy solar pumps without waiting for the government fund. "So far, we have counted 28,000 farm farms using solar pumps, and that's just what we got because the real number is even bigger," he said.

The government continues to amend the legal framework of the sector, noting that a new draft bill is being discussed in the parliament that would permit households to invest in solar energy systems to fulfill their self-needs and to sell the surplus through pumping it in the national electrical grid, said Rabbah.

He stated that another draft bill is underway setting conditions on firms that provide energy services as to human resources, administration, and products' quality – in addition to another draft that organizes opening gas stations and importing fuels and oil products.

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