Morocco has initiated an ambitious strategy to boost the share of renewable energy in the kingdom’s power sector to satisfy increasing domestic demand.
The target is to develop 2,000MW wind, 2,000MW hydroelectric and 2,000MW solar installed capacity by 2020, which is expected to represent 42 per cent of the total power generation capacity.
The country initiated the development of a wind farm at Tarfaya in 2007 which will have a capacity of 300MW when complete.
However, a protracted tender process has meant that its wind power ambitions remain far from realised.
The Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) invited bids from two prequalified companies/groups – France’s GDF-Suez and the UK’s International Power with the local Nareva – to construct the project in February 2008.
They were asked to submit bids in three separate envelopes containing the technical, financial and tariff elements of each submission. The envelopes were to be opened in sequence which resulted in a long evaluation process.
Coupled with this, ONE delayed several stages of this process. The final envelope, which contains tariff information, was scheduled to be opened at the end of March. However, ONE decided at the last minute against this and the final envelope remains unopened.
Morocco has also launched a solar project at Ouarzazate which would have a capacity of around 500MW when complete. The project originates from ONE but has since been passed to a new body, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen).
If Morocco is to come close to meeting its renewable energy targets, it will need to significantly speed up its tender process. Without doing so, it may be quite some time before the kingdom brings 6,000MW renewable power capacity online.