Morocco Alternative energy Morocco Morocco Morocco Morocco Morocco

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1 Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region are making mixed progress with ambitious plans to roll out renewables alongside the traditional fossil-fuel feedstock to diversify their power sector and meet growing capacity demands. Morocco - dependent on imports for 95 per cent of its energy needs - has established itself as a pioneer since it launched its National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Plan in Rabat has now set a target for renewable energy resources to provide 42 per cent of the country's power by Alternative energy Even the more oil-rich states have developed a taste for renewables. Dubai is pushing ahead with a further 2,800MW of solar, adding to the 200MW already under development. Egypt is promoting bids around wind and solar projects, and Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify feedstock in power generation beyond fossil fuels. Morocco has first-mover advantage, as it prepares to commission a 150MW wind farm at Taza in 2017, under the first phase of the Integrated Programme for Wind Energy. The country's utility, Office National de l'electricite et de l'eau Potable (ONEE), has invited firms to submit commercial bids for the deal to develop five wind farms with a total capacity of 850MW. Solar is equally important to Rabat's feedstock diversification drive. The government aims to install 2GW of solar and 2GW of wind generation by Amina Benkhadra, directorgeneral of the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines, told the Morocco Energy Exchange in Edinburgh on 12 October that this plan aims to meet annual increases in primary energy demand of 7 per cent. Morocco expects 42 per cent (equivalent to about 6GW) of its total energy mix to come from solar, wind and hydroelectric sources by 2020, equally divided between 2GW each. Renewables has quickly embedded itself into the fabric of the country's industrial landscape, with cement companies now generating increased volumes of energy from renewable sources. The Morocco Solar Plan (MSP) aims by 2020 to contribute about 14 per cent of the energy mix in the country's electricity supply through the construction of five solar complexes, which will require an estimated $9bn investment. In January, the Moroccan Solar Agency (Masen) awarded contracts for the Noor 2 and 3 concentrated solar power (CSP) projects, with combined capacity of 350MW. At Ouarzazate, work is under way on plans to supply more than 500MW from Africa's single largest solar complex. Said Mouline, CEO of Aderee, the Moroccan Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, tells MEED that renewable energy offers particular added value to Morocco as it can extend beyond the confines of the domestic economy. "With 1

2 renewables, you have projects that go beyond the local market," he says. "We hope to export electricity and become an energy hub for Africa and southern Europe." There is talk - albeit in the early stages - of feeding wind and solar-generated electricity to the European electricity grid through an existing interconnection to Spain. CSP projects have dominated Morocco's energy mix, thanks to its ability to provide baseload capacity, with the storage enabling electricity to feed into the grid at off-peak times. There is also a significant cost advantage, say advocates. "The Moroccans have driven down the cost of renewables, especially in the CSP sector," says Kevin Sara, CEO of UK-based Nur Energie, which is developing CSP and photovoltaic (PV) plants and has bid in Masen's solar tenders. Cost advantage The country's CSP programme is designed to push down prices as fast as possible. "They have a very aggressive public tender process, with very strict procedures, and it's working," says Sara. "The prices have gone down beyond anyone's expectations." The first MSP project, Ouarzazate 1, saw the winning Saudi-Spanish consortium, led by Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power, offer a $0,184 tariff that was 25 per cent lower than initial cost projections. That enabled a reduction in the revenue subsidy from the forecast $60m to $20m. Acwa Power took just four months to reach financial close on the second and third phases of the Ouarzazate project, confirming the $2bn schemes as highly bankable developments. Morocco has another ace up its sleeve in that CSP's feasibility is one that other sunny countries may struggle to replicate, with the direct solar radiation allowing the deployment of a variety of technologies to concentrate the electricity. "If you moved southern Spain a couple of hundred kilometres south to Morocco, studies have shown you would get a 30 per cent increase in output for the same capital expenditure. What that does to the economics of a project is a no-brainer," says Sara. Despite the success of CSP, PV is also on the agenda in Morocco. Its next phase, the Noor PV 1 project, will consist of three schemes with an overall capacity of 170MW, located at Ouarzazate, Laayoune and Boujdour. Egypt renewables Across the continent, Egypt is aiming at a renewable energy target of 20 per cent of its energy mix by 2022, ahead of a long-term plan for renewables to comprise per cent of the mix by 2035 and 65 per cent by Cairo is planning to boost its renewable energy capacity through several routes. About 4,300MW is set to be developed through the feed-in tariff (FIT) programme. This is split into 2,000MW of wind, 2,000MW of solar and 300MW of solar rooftop projects. 2

3 The FIT model qualification round has to date attracted more than 135 developers. Egypt's New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is also pressing ahead with several solar and wind projects through the build-own-operate (BOO) model. The NREA is evaluating bids for the 250MW Gulf of Suez wind scheme, for which it received prices in April. In October, the authority received prequalification entries for three further BOO renewables projects. Saudi Arabia's MTMM Consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian government to invest in up to 4.000MW of renewables projects, split evenly between solar and wind. Saudi Arabia itself is targeting solar, hi September, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) launched a tender for a 3,780MW integrated solar combined-cycle (ISCC) plant at Taiba. This has encouraged renewables developers about the kingdom's seriousness of intent, albeit on a much smaller scale than some of its neighbours. Riyadh has considered dropping solar from its first two planned ISCC schemes - Duba and Waad al-shamal - due to rising costs, although it now looks like SEC will move ahead with the renewables element on these schemes. The government pulled back from the more ambitious King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-Care) programme's target of having 54GW of renewable energy by But the tendering under way on Taiba suggests momentum is returning. Saudi progress would provide greater impetus to other Gulf states with renewables ambitions. Dubai has already made headway with its PV projects, with the launch of the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-maktoum (MBR) solar park, the world's largest singlephase solar plant. The progress in awarding the contract for phase three, with 95 expressions of interest submitted by the 29 September deadline, confirms the robust appetite for the emirate's solar plans. Dubai's momentum has superseded neighbouring Abu Dhabi's, which commissioned the 100MW Shams 1 CSP plant in 2013, but has experienced delays in the tendering of another 100MW solar project, Noor 1. Outside the Gulf, Jordan - like Morocco, another energy import-dependent kingdom- is seeing measured progress, with 12 PV projects in the first round of its renewable energy feedin tariff scheme having now secured financing. Such moves are helping to steadily build the case for infusing non-fossil fuel energies into the mix across the Mena region, although progress is uneven with budget constraints and unfamiliarity with relatively untested technologies affecting project timings. Pioneers such as Morocco have demonstrated the economic case for feedstock diversification. 3

4 "This energy transition will take time," says Aderee's Mouline. "We're starting with our own requirements, but that will enable us to develop wider plans and eventually have countries in the north buying our green electricity." IN NUMBERS 6GW Total capacity of wind, solar and hydroelectric plants to be built in Morocco by MW Planned capacity of Morocco's Ouarzazate project, Africa's single largest solar complex MOROCCO RABAT JOINS THE QUEUE FOR GAS SUPPLIES Even renewable energy pace setters such as Morocco acknowledge there is still a need for natural gas in future power generation plans. The country's utility, Office National de I'Electricite et de I'Eau Potable, launched a tender in October seeking advisers for projects to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal as part of a $4.6bn gas-to-power project at Jorf Lasfar. The terminal will have a 7 billioncubic-metre capacity, with a cost of $800m. The gas would feed four planned 600MW gasfired combined-cycle generation plants. About 5 billion cubic metres of gas needed by 2025 would be for power generation, with 1.5 billion cubic metres earmarked for industrial users. An adviser to the energy minister says the government has held talks with 25 potential gas suppliers. "We need 5 billion cubic metres by 2025, and we don't want to put all our eggs in one basket," says the adviser. "We want to diversify sources and contracts, and that means having at least two or three LNG suppliers." Morocco plans to have about 80 per cent of its LNG secured under long-term contracts. The rest will be in the form of short-term deals and spot purchases. The timing may be fortuitous for Rabat's debut foray into the LNG market. "It's an excellent time to be doing it," David Drury, a gas consultant at UK-based Gas Strategies told the Morocco Energy Exchange in the UK on 12 October. "Two years ago LNG was being sucked out of the Atlantic Basin, but now the market has changed and there is some 140 million tonnes of LNG capacity under construction, so it's a good time to be a buyer. It creates the opportunity to be flexible." 4

5 INSTALLED WIND TURBINE CAPACITY (MW) Country Iran Other Middle East Egypt Morocco Tunisia Source: BP MOROCCO PLANNED POWER CAPACITY, 2020 Coal 26% Oil 14% Wind 14% Solar 14% Hydro 14% Gas 11% Other 7% Source: Masen Source: MEED, 10/28/2015, Vol. 59, Issue 43 5

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