September 29 (Renewables Now) - Morocco's plans for energy sector developments by 2030 will gulp down investments of nearly MAD 374 billion (USD 40 bn / EUR 33.7 bn) with about 75% of these going to renewable energy projects, the country's minister of energy, mining and sustainable development Aziz Rabbah told an investment forum in Bahrain.
Speaking in Manama last week, Rabbah noted that renewable energies (wind and solar power mostly) supplied 13% of the electricity demand in Morocco in 2016, compared with just 2.13% in 2008. The increase of renewable sources in the energy mix has allowed the country to lower its dependence on energy imports from 98% in 2008 to 93.3% in 2016, he added.
The North African kingdom, which hosted COP 22, the 2016 UN climate change conference, is chasing after a bold target of sourcing more than half of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030. It targets to add 4,560 MW of solar power, 4,200 MW of wind power and 1,330 MW of hydro power capacity.
Morocco is also planning to build up its pumped-storage hydro power capacity. The country currently has 460 MW of pumped storage available at Afourer and plans to build another 350 MW by 2020.
Last, but not least, the North African country wants to strengthen electricity interconnections. It is investigating feasibility for a 1,000 MW connection to Portugal's grid and has drafted plans for a third interconnection of 700 MW with Spain, as well as other projects with sub-Saharan countries.
(MAD 10 = USD 1.06 / EUR 0.9)