Masen, taking the lead on renewable energy
Masen is the key and integrated stakeholder for the development of renewable energy in Morocco.
A key contributor to the national target of 52% of energy from renewable sources by 2030, Masen is extremely mindful of the social, economic and environmental impact of its projects.
Masen also aims to enhance the country’s position a major player in the renewable energy sector both on the continent and the world stage.
MEMEE, government stakeholder in energy
The main responsibilities of the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment (MEMEE) are to develop and supervise the implementation of the national energy policy, primarily through the actions of Masen, the ONEE and AMEE.
The Ministry is also responsible for the sound management and harnessing of the country’s energy potential, in order to guarantee security of supply for the country, as well as enhancing the active role of the Kingdom in the regional and international development of the energy sector.
The ongoing concern for the protection of the environment is supported by ministerial action. As such, a delegated Ministry is in charge of this particular aspect of national policy.
ONEE, national partner
The ONEE is the public body resulting from the merger of the ONE (National Office for Electricity) and ONEP (National Office for Potable Water), national offices responsible for electricity and drinking water respectively, in order to capitalise on the full potential of the synergies between these two key sectors and ensure the optimisation of this public service.
In charge of managing national electricity demand, the ONEE plays an important role in the country’s electricity production. As manager of the national grid, the ONEE is also responsible for transmission and the vast majority of electricity distribution. In addition, it is the firstpurchaser of the electricity produced from the national sites developed by Masen and a key partner in the roll-out of the various projects led by them.
AMEE, a dedicated player in energy efficiency
The role of AMEE (Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency)is to implementaction plans of government policy relating to energy efficiency.
Aware of the huge potential for energy savings in the different socioeconomic sectors, Moroccoplaces special emphasis on controlling energy consumption.
*Its previous name was ADEREE (National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency).
ANRE, electricity regulator
ANRE (National Authority for Electricity Regulation) is the independent administrative authority responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the free market for electricity generation.
ANRE sets out the duties and obligations required of national grid operators for the transmission and distribution of electricity, guarantees the right of users to access said grid, approves rules and tariffs for interconnections and lastly regulates the access of private electricity producers to the national electricity transmission grid.
ANRE also has the power to settle disputes and impose penalties.
GG and adapting to changes in climate
Today, there is broad scientific consensus on the influence of human activity on global warming. Indeed, it is leading to ever increasing greenhouse gas (GG) emissions which become concentrated in atmosphere and then cause global warming.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)*, the main greenhouse gas produced by human activity, accounts for three quarters of these emissions. Other gases that are equally or even more harmful than CO2 are also produced, such as methane. The main causes are primarily fossil fuel production (fuel for transport, heating, industry) followed by land use which includes deforestation.
While GG emissions are currently at unprecedented levels, it is still possible to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. Widespread awareness and the commitments undertaken by the international community are being implemented through an increasing number of national policies aimed at reducing GG and promoting the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
* Please note:
The tonne of CO2equivalent(tCO2) is a unit of measurement that helps compare the warming power of greenhouse gases, by using CO2 as a reference.
The tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit if measurement of the energy used to compare different types of energies with themselves.
The toe represents the amount of energy produced from burning a tonne of crude oil, which equates to around 11 ,667 kWh.
The solar Atlas, developed from a long history of very accurate satellite images and very precise models, has proven to be a vital tool for carefully evaluating the solar potential and its spatial and temporal distribution on a large scale.
The Moroccan solar Atlas developed by Masenalready covers the wholenational territory, with a spatial accuracy of 250x250m and historical data spanning more than 20 years. It is used in selecting the solar technologiesthat will be developed including both photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP).
The solar Atlas is designed as a reference and decision-making tool. It is a solution that is highly tailored to:
Masen, the enabling interface
Masen is the preferred point of contact of each stakeholder in the energy project, providing a link between financial institutions, national institutions, local authorities, developers, the scientific community and the local population. Masenthus facilitates interactions between the various stakeholders for the benefit of the project:
- when selecting and procuring land
- to develop increasingly effective technological solutions that are tailored to national conditions
- for raising the funds required to finance projects
- for launching and following up calls for tender intended to select developers for projects
- for drafting contractual documents for projects
- for building common infrastructure (roads, sanitation, infrastructure of telecommunications)
- to contribute to the socioeconomic development of areas hosting projects
- to contribute to the industrial integration of projects
- to contribute to the development of new skills
The financial structuring implemented across several projects involves Masen, the State and financial instituitions. In fact, Masen raised the funds required to finance its previous projects from international financial institutions, requiring a guarantee issued by the Moroccan State. Masen then on-lended these funds to project companies in its capacity as lender.
As such, Masen is the enabling entity that ensures that planning for projects runs smoothly.
Masen coordinates the various stages of the development of renewable energy projects.
This then encompasses the entire value chain of the development of clean energy: from prospecting sites to monitoring the maintenance of facilities, the choice of technology, the project’s legal and financial arrangements or to the connection of the facility to national networks.
Masen can optimise the natural synergy betweenrenewable energies in its projects through bold technological configurations.
Hydraulic provides a constant and reliable source of electricity that adapts to the different needs of the grid. It also enables configurations that are especially relevant with a variety of other renewable sources.
Photovoltaic, the world’s most widely used solar technology, produces low-cost electricity. Through concentrated solar power (CSP) technology and the introduction ofthermal storage, solar has become more flexible and provides a practical solution at times of peak demand, in the evening.
Hybrid power plants that combine CSP and PV offer the benefits of both technologies enabling flexible and low-cost electricity.
As far as wind power is concerned, it uses already proven and likely technology in addition to innovative configurations with solar or hydraulic. Electricity produced from wind energy generally varies with each production unit. The diversified geographic distribution of the country’s wind farms makes it possible to dissociate the wind conditions at each site in order to ultimately maintain an overall level of electricity generation.
The hydroelectric plant, as is commonly the case in Morocco, is generally attached to a dam: The water retained in the dam is released through the penstock pipe, activating a hydraulic turbine coupled to an electrical generator. The turbine's mechanical force of rotation is converted into electricity, which is then carried to a transformer that steps up its voltage so that it can be incorporated into the power grid.
The Pumped Storage Power Station (PSPS) consists of a pumping/turbining technique that exploits the difference in level that exists between two accumulation areas.
Surplus power on the grid is first used for pumping water from the lower area so that it can be stored in the higher area. Second, the water stored upstream is turbined in the opposite direction to generate electricity as soon as the grid operator expresses a need for it. This technology, which runs on a closed circuit, therefore does not contribute to rainfall. Finally, the PSPS makes it possible, based on electricity needs, to overcome shortfalls in other renewable sources.
The thermal storage system integrated into CSP power plants enables the heat they generate to be stored and converted into electricity on demand. The Two-tank molten salt storage is the most developed option and the one most widely used on a large scale.
During the storage charging phase, the salts in the cold tank are heated and then transported to the hot tank. When the plant has to generate electricity, mainly at times of peak demand or after sunset, the hot tank is discharged to operate the power block.
NOOR Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants both use CSP parabolic trough technology.
This is combined with a thermal storage system that allows electricity to be supplied at full power for up to three hours after sunset at NOOR Ouarzazate I and for more than seven hours at NOOR Ouarzazate II.
Noor Ouarzazate II is also fitted with a dry cooling system which – compared to the wet cooling used in the Noor Ouarzazate I plant – makes it possible to cut back the water used in the plant's operation by 90 per cent.
The Tarfaya site, developed by the ONEE, is the largest wind farm on the continent, stretching out 17 km long and 6 km wide, with an installed capacity of 300 MW. It makes it possible to provide the electricity consumption of a city of one-and-a-half million people. It includes 131 giant wind turbines, each 80 metres high, supporting 40-metre blades and each producing 2.3 MW of power.
In Tangier, the farm's 165 turbines, installed by the ONEE, generate 0.85 MW individually for a total capacity of 140 MW. The Tangier location is supplemented by 165 instrumentation and control devices, which also measure the production of the turbines, four wind measurement stations, and an underground energy discharge network that connects to the Melloussa substation.
The architectural and landscaping concept of the Ouarzazate site was designed to encourage the facility's integration into its environment and the optimization of the available resources.
- The location of the infrastructure is thus tailored to fit the site's topography, the technical buildings are inspired by traditional architecture and bioclimatic design, and understated native plant species were chosen for the green spaces.
- In order to protect the site, soil is stabilized by appropriate plantings intended to fight erosion; additionally, a drip system supplemented by a network of ditches and troughs was installed in order to collect run-off water and therefore protect the site in the event of flooding.
As part of a national renewable energy development programme that aims to increase the proportion of installed electrical power from renewable energy sources to 42% by 2020 and 52% by 2030, the company’s [Masen] objective is to lead[…]a development programme of integrated projects for the production of electricity with total minimum additional capacity of 3,000 MW by 2020 and 6,000 MW by 2030 […].
Article 1 of law n° 37-16 amending and supplementing law n° 57-09 establishing the company “Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy” which has become “Moroccan Agency For Sustainable Energy”
The gradual roll-out of the National energy strategy and it setting more ambitious goals led in 2016 to the enhancement of the prerogatives of the company dedicated to the steering and management of projects that harness renewable energy.
In this respect, the role of the ONEE (National Office for Electricity and Potable Water) and Masen is to work together in symbiosis for the improved governance of the Kingdom’s energy ecosystem.
In fact, since it was founded in 2010 and thanks to its unique operating model, Masen has successfully risen to the challenge of implementing the Moroccan Noor Solar Project .
As a single dedicated point of contact, present at each step of the value chain, Masen provides a highly efficient approach through the innovative legal and financial structuring of energy projects, the integrated nature of their development and optimised risk management.
Lastly, Masen’s organisational structures, a public-owned company with share capital, makes it an organisation that combines the flexibility of the private sector with the strong backing of the State.
Adjusting the institutional architecture of the renewables sector has proved effective at creating multiple synergies. The prerogatives and responsibilities of the key stakeholders have thus been adapted.
Masen’s relationship with clean energy production, on the one hand, and the ONEE’s (National Office for Electricity and Potable Water) with its acquisition-distribution, on the other hand, has been strengthened. Masen and the ONEE work closely together across all processes of producing electricity from renewable sources.
[…] Based on Our long-term vision, which accounts for trends and developments in the global energy situation that will emerge over the course of the coming decades, We are making energy availability, security of supply and environmental protection our top priorities. Therefore Our country must constantly prepare itself for, and adapt to, the various changes that will come, so that we can ensure social and economic development whilst meeting our growing energy needs sustainably.
[…] We are focussed on the need to diversify our energy sources, to mobilize our renewable resources.
Extract from a speech by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him, to attendees of the first national energy conference, which began on 6 March 2009 in Rabat
[…] Since the world became aware, in Rio in 1992, of the urgent need to address climate change, the Kingdom of Morocco has resolutely sought to ensure that its proactive policy on sustainable development and environmental protection is in line with the international community’s global effort. To this end, it has introduced a series of constitutional, legislative, institutional and regulatory reforms. […] Therefore, the objective of securing 42% of the country’s energy mix from renewable sources by 2020 has recently been increased to 52% by 2030. Morocco’s ambitious, substantial "Intended, Nationally Determined Contribution” under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change confirms the Kingdom’s avant-garde approach.
Extract from a speech by His Majesty King Mohammed VI at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Monday 30 November 2015 in Paris
His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him, gave a major boost to sectoral policies, by addressing energy requirements and challenges as well as the protection of the environment.
This issue of energy was raised and the answer was renewable energy, as a vehicle for energy, socioeconomic and climate development.
The Kingdom’s large potential for its own and clean energy is also being harnessed to support the country’s emergence and ensure progress is part of a sustainable approach.
Inauguration by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in June 2010 at Tangier wind park «Dhar Saadane»
Inauguration by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in January 2015 a set of water projects including dam Mdez
To manage and implement national programmes relating to clean energy, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God bless him, appointed Masen on 13 October 2015.
Masen is now responsible for implementing the Royal vision of a synergy in renewable energy. It becomes Morocco’s key partner in the development, funding and management of all renewable energy projects, including notably solar, wind and hydro, on a continental and global scale.
The consideration of the socioeconomic developmental needs of the country and the urgent need to protect the environment have led to the harnessing of renewables for the energy needed for Morocco’s long-term development. Because choice doesn’t always mean compromise, the Kingdom has opted for low carbon growth without giving up productivity.
And the Kingdom wants to turn its renewable energy into its strength!
In Morocco, growing energy needs associated with structural sectoral strategies, household consumption and the electrification of rural areas(99% in 2015) are being challenged by the country’s heavy energy dependence (95% of energy consumed in 2014 was imported) and the considerable volatility of the price of the fossil fuels.
The fundamental challenge is thus to control theenergy needs-fight against climate change equation
The awareness of the need to combat the effects of climate change and protect the environment is now a worldwide issue. And renewables are acknowledged as being the key solution for mitigating the effects of climate change.
In Morocco, greenhouse gas (GG) emissionsare relatively low. In 2011, the global average per capita was almost 5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2) compared with barely more than 1.7 tCO2 for Morocco.
Morocco undertook to control its GG emissions, in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
At the COP21 climate conference, the Kingdomstated a national goal of a 13% reduction in GG emissions by 2030.
The use of renewables means that by 2020, Morocco could prevent the emission of at least 9.3 million tCO2 (2.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent - toe), including 3.7 million through to the development of solar energy projectsand 5.6 through wind energy projects.
Morocco’s geographic location gives it the advantage of a significant renewables potential.
It is ranked 9th globally in terms of the rate of sunshine: its 710,000 km2 enjoying between 2,800 and 3,400 hours of sunshine a year; the national technical potential of solar energy is evaluated to be 20,000 MW. Installed solar capacity in Morocco in 2016 is180 MW.
In terms of wind energy, the country is ranked 31st globally for its potential. Its 3,500 km of Atlantic coastline register wind speeds of between 7.5 and 11 m/s, equating to an estimated technical potential of 25,000 MW. Installed wind power in Morocco is 800 MW in 2016.
As far as hydropower is concerned, the policy of dams which has been pursued from independence right up to the present day has produced an installed power of 1,770 MW, out of a national technical potential of 3,800 MW.
The national strategy aims to anticipate long-lasting economic development.
This strategy is structured around :
In addition to the energy efficiency aspect devolved to AMEE, the renewable dimension of the national strategy being led by Masen currently involves solar, wind and hydropower.
Other renewable energy sources, such as biomass, are likely to be deployed in the future.
Although, in 2015, the use of renewable resources helped achieve a figure for installed power of 34% of the national mix, the target for 2020 is to reach 42% and 52% by 2030.
The legislative and regulatory framework has been reformed and adapted to the new aims of the national strategy.
Since Morocco’s Independence, the damming policy has overseen the management of water and has included a hydropower programme. The aim is to achieve an installed capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020, which will represent 15 % of installed capacity
Although in Morocco dams are primarily used for irrigation, they are also used to produce electricity in the event of the dam having surplus capacity or in order to meet an urgent demand from the grid. The new hydroelectric capacity currently under construction or scheduled for development will help, in particular, to stabilise the electricity generation portfolio.
Officially launched in November 2009, the Moroccan Solar Plan, Noor, is taking shape, especially through several sites: Ouarzazate, Midelt, Laâyoune, Boujdour...
The methodology for selecting these sites and future installations is strict. Several criteria are taken into consideration, in particular the quality of the solar resource, the quality of the soil, the availability of the land and its non-agricultural status, the absence of conflict in the use likely to result from its purchase of the land, the proximity of the necessary basic infrastructure, especially the electrical one.
New sites are being studied in order to expand the asset-base required to achieve Morocco’s renewable energy goals. The aim is to have an installed minimum production capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020, which will represent 14% of installed capacity.
The wind energy plan aims to continue the construction of high power wind farms.
Since it was officially launched in June 2010, this planhas provided for the establishment of a capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020.
Projects currently completed or under development include locations in Tangier, Tétouan, Taza, Midelt, Essaouira, Tarfaya, Laâyoune, Boujdour and Dakhla.
To guarantee Morocco’s position as a major player in renewables both on the continent and globally, Masen is implementing synergies on multiple levels:
The different stakeholders in Morocco’s renewable energy ecosystem share a common goal: placing Morocco at the avant-gard of the sector. The overhaul of the institutional framework and the redistribution of prerogatives between the various relevant stakeholders, based around the ONEE-Masen duo, gives greater visibility to projects developed and in doing so, guarantees improved coordination and consistency. These strategic synergies have two major benefits:
By restructuring its energy sector, Morocco has redefined the scope of each stakeholder to avoid any potential overlap of prerogatives and maximise the efficiency of the overall scheme.
As Morocco’s central institutional operator in the field of renewable energy, acts as a facilitator with respect to institutional stakeholders, investors and developers, manufacturers and to the scientific community, as well as local authorities and populations. The synergies then created between the various stakeholders make it possible, amongst other things, to:
To maximise the development and management of its projects, Masen looks for the synergy effect at all stages of the renewable energy production process. This is reflected in a combination of skills and expertise, through a comprehensive value chain. This is also embodied by building on the experiences and background of human resources, speeding up the implementation of the national strategy and limiting risks.
Lastly, having a single player lead on renewable energy makes it possible to identify optimal and innovative configurations for the requirements of the electricity grid expressed by the operator ONEE. In this way, Masen makes the best use of the specific features of each renewable energy. As far as the choice of a certain technology or combination of technologies is concerned, this is driven by the need to effectively meet consumption needs.
Masen's integrated approach enables the emergence of powerful levels for development at the national and regional scale.
Creating new drivers of growth around renewable energy projects helps increase the appeal of the regions and create new markets.
By setting up integrated ecosystems, Masen is serving the national economy.
Besides producing electricity as its core business, Masen's enabling activities are aimed at:
As a pillar of this integrated approach, Masen’s local development strategy helps the regions that host its projects to achieve territorial equity and sustainable growth.
Masen generates electricity from renewable energy, and as such, is the primary contributor to achieving the national goals: Although in 2015, electrical power from renewable sources represents over half the national energy mix, the national goal for 2020 is to reach 42%, and 52% by 2030. Clean energy development projects aim to get the most out of solar, wind, and hydraulic, through technological choices adapted to the selected sites and the needs identified.
Finally, Masen is particularly attentive to the environmental impact of its projects.
Masen encourages industrial integration and the employment of local skills and expertise, thereby contributing to the emergence of a national dynamic.
The first step is to facilitate the involvement of existing national and local businesses. In the second step, the goal is to bring about a genuine national industry that specializes in renewable energy
At Noor Ouarzazate I, the local content rate is 30% of the project's total investment cost. For example, national companies in the fields of metallurgy, wiring, electrical components, construction/public works, and in services specific to building a solar power plant, all took part in the plant's construction
At Noor Ouarzazate II, Masen is seeking to increase the industrial integration rate to 35%.
Meanwhile, the Cluster is creating the conditions for the development of a competitive renewables ecosystem. This Cluster is a strategic networking and thinking platform whose members are public and private players from the sector, be they in the fields of research, training, and industry.
n order to identify new opportunities that would lead to the creation of collaborative projects, the cluster hosts workgroups, whichconduct studies on issues specific to renewable energy.
Ultimately, the Cluster will help create a business model suited to the Moroccan context.
Encouraging a culture of innovation at all levels of the value chain will help strengthen industrial skills in the field of renewable energy. http://www.clustersolaire.ma
[…] It is […] necessary to conduct an efficient training policy and to develop skills in the field (of renewable energy) […]
Excerpt from the Throne Day speech to the Nation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God be with him, Tuesday July 30, 2013
This means assisting the ecosystems in their development, through a series of targeted actions, which may be general or specific, which fulfill both the needs for scientific and general knowledge and the professional expectations tied to the company's business. In order to amplify its activity, Masen relies on partnership agreements with prestigious national and international players: INES, RENAC, TECSOl, EMI, OFPPT, UCA, etc.
In practice, this approach takes the form of a number of initiatives:
With the aim of invigorating the renewable energy ecosystem by promoting the production of knowledge in this field, a Prize for Excellence has been given out each year since 2013 to intellectual workscarried out by Moroccan students and researchers.
Graduate projects and excellence internships With the ambition of developing skills that can meet the technological challenges of renewable energy in Morocco, every year Masen allows about fifty students to carry out their graduate projects, either within Masen itself or within companies in the ecosystem. These students thereby get the opportunity to face real-world issues found in renewable energy companies. The topics of their work may relate to technical and/or economic aspects.
In order to initiate future executives in clean technologies and out of a desire to strengthen ties between academia and industry, Masen holds summer university courses in renewable energy every year. The event gathers more than 60 undergraduate and doctoral students from various institutes in Morocco, for one week around national and international experts.
Aware of the important role of research in the development of industries, every year Masen co-organizes an international conference, IRSEC, devoted to renewable energy. It brings together over 300 attendees from all over the world to discuss scientific and technical issues. This conference has enabled hundreds of Moroccan researchers to publish their research work in prestigious publications: SCOPUS, IEEE Xplore, Thomson Reuters, etc.
Conscient de l’importance des travaux de recherches In order to encourage experience exchanges and knowledge transfers, a partnership was reached for the period 2013-2017 between the IFMEREEs and a German solar power training institute, as part of the German Climate Technology Initiative (DKTI I).
This collaboration includes ongoing training programs in solar technologies, as well as wind energy and biogas.
Conscient de l’importance des travaux de In order to promote the competitive development of new renewable energy branches, Masen takes action at an early stage first, by helping to identify and define needs for skills in those branches, then later, by assisting in the deployment of suitable training curricula.
Research & Development activities are of critical importance, both for deploying power plants and for the emergence of a viable industry. It is therefore essential to play a role in the changes taking place in the solar power sector in order to acquire the most efficient technologies and contribute to improving the competitiveness of the energy produced.
For this reason, Masen actively contributes to the deployment of applied and preoperational research in the renewables sector in line with the national strategy, and has developed a research platform intended to qualify technologies and create an exchange network between industrial firms and research institutions.
At the Masen solar Complex in Ouarzazate, a 200-hectare R&D platform was built. This is a test platform in optimal solar conditions provided by the site's natural exposure to sunshine, which researchers and companies from all over the world can use to test and improve the technical features of solar projects in the pre-market stage.
Beyond making this solar project testing center operational, Masen plans to develop numerous international partnerships in research & development and innovation.
Another essential component of Masen’s integrated approach is its local development strategy.Masen adapts its actions to the socioeconomic profile of the regions its plants operate in, using energy as a catalyst in many sectors, especially basic infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.
These measures are carried out in accordance with a specific local development strategy that is designed to be applied across all the group’s projects. See here for details of this strategy
Through its projects and technological choices, Masen develops the most proven and innovative technologies for the most useful electricity.
Through its projects and technological choices, Masen develops the most proven and innovative technologies for the most useful electricity.
Masen designs and creates electricity generation projects using all current and future sources of renewable energy.
The goal is to benefit from the synergies of these energy sources and to choose, for each site identified, the technology best suited to the network's needs.
This interactive map shows all the projects developed* or under development in Morocco.
Select a filter to display only the desired projects (solar, wind or hydro).
* Including private projects, excluding projects under study
The dam policy has been launched more than 50 years, but nearly a third of the current 140 major dams were built in the past 15 years.In addition to managing water resources, some of these dams are also used to generate electricity.
Currently, the installed power capacity is 1770 MW. 12 hydroelectric plants, providing a total power of 92 MW, will be commissioned in 2016.
The contribution of hydraulic power to the national electrical production capacity planned for 2020 is minimum 2000 MW.
The first large-scale Moroccan solar complex is Noor, in Ouarzazate, which currently contains four plants with complementary, innovative technologies.
With an installed capacity of 160 MW using Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology, the Noor Ouarzazate I plant, deployed across 480 hectares, has been designed to deliver over 520 GWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 520,000 people.
Additionally, owing to its thermal storage capabilities, the plant offers up to three hours of electricity at full power, even after sunset, allowing the network to adjust to the national consumption peak observed in the evening.
The construction of this first phase of the multi-technology Complexe, Noor Ouarzazate, was launched during the second quarter of 2013 and delivered in late 2015. The inauguration by His Majesty the King, may God be with Him, took place in February 2016.
Noor Ouarzazate I avoids a Greenhouse gas emission of nearly 300,000 tCO2/year.
Power-generating wind farms are developed along the coasts of the Kingdom.
The goal is to achieve an installed capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020.
By 2020, Wind will help save 1.5 million tons of oil equivalent (toe), or 5.6 million tons of CO2 equivalents (tCO2eq). hydroélectrique .
This technology consists of converting hydraulic power into electricity using turbines.
In Morocco, hydroelectric production combines power plants with dams, and has incorporated PSPS technology, a particular type of hydroelectric . installation, since the 2000s.
CSP technology (Concentrated Solar Power), captures the sun’s rays using flat and curved mirrors and then concentrates them on a receiver that contains heat transfer fluid (synthetic oil, water/steam, molten salts, etc.). The heat is transferred to demineralized water, which generates steam at high pressure in a closed circuit. The steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. The water vapour is then cooled and the water cycle is repeated.
CSP systems are formed of two important parts:
The solar field, which covers around 98 per cent of the plant’s total surface area and captures and concentrates the solar energy;
The power block, which enables the conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy.
There are four types of technology currently being developed worldwide:
Parabolic troughs: mirrors that track the sun’s trajectory and focus its rays on a linear receiver placed on their focal line.
Linear Fresnel reflectors: flat or slightly curved mirrors that focus solar irradiation onto a linear receiver
Solar power towers: mirrors called heliostats, fitted with a solar tracking system and arranged in concentric circles, focus solar irradiation onto a central receiver located at the top of a tower
Dish-stirling: mirrors set up on a parabolic dish focus sunlight onto a receiver mounted at the dish’s focal point. The receiver is integrated into a highly efficient engine activated by heat. The distinguishing feature of this system is its use of mechanical energy instead of thermal fluid to generate electricity.
A diversification of thermo-solar technology is being introduced at Noor Ouarzazate III, via the CSP with solar power tower sub-technology. The plant has a central receiver located at the top of a tower around 250 metres high. It also includes two molten-salt thermal storage tanks that make it possible to produce electricity . for up to seven hours after sunset.
The photovoltaic technology chosen for Noor Ouarzazate IV, NOOR Laayoune and NOOR Boujdour, makes it possible to directly convert a share of the sun's rays into electricity using photovoltaic cells connected to one another in solar panels. When light hits them, the semiconductor materials that make up each photovoltaic cell generate and transport an electrical current (the photoelectric effect).
There are four main photovoltaic sub-technologies, defined by the type of cell they use:
Cristalline silicon technology: the cells are manufactured from a block of silicon that can be crystallized to different levels of purity to produce monocrystalline silicon or multicrystalline silicon.
Thin-film technology: the cells are formed of successive, very thin (nm or μm) layers of semiconductor materials. There are two main types of very thin semiconductors: CdTe (cadmium telluride) and CIGS (copper indium galiumdiselenide).
Concentration technology: an optical system (Fresnel lens or mirror) focusses the sun’s rays onto the cells. These are manufactured from layers of photoelectric materials (As, Ga, In, etc.) which enable them to capture a wider spectrum of sunlight, thus increasing the cells’ yield.
Organic technology: the cells are formed of polymers (organic semiconductors – in other words, plastics) whose flexibility creates supple, light material. This technology is at the research and development stage
For the 70-MW Noor Ouarzazate IV, the international tendering process was launched in 2015; the photovoltaic sub-technology wich has been specified is the polycristalline with a tracking system
Wind technology consists of converting the motive force of wind into electricity; the turbine's blades, when activated by the wind, drive the rotation of an axle connected to a generated at the top of each turbine, within a rotating structure called a nacelle.
This technology offers interesting opportunities for synergies with other renewable energy sources.
Sub-technologies are divided into onshore and offshore installations, as wind power is stronger and more regular at sea than on land. So far, onshore remains the most mature and competitive wind technology. Like other countries, Morocco has therefore chosen it for all sites developed to date.
Masen's integrated approach to development combines social, economic, and environmental aspects, in order to positively impact the areas near the renewable energy projects, the regional perimeter, and ultimately the entirety of Morocco.
By leading the expansion of renewables, Masen is turning natural energy into a source of development.
As part of the country's socio-economic development, Masen is helping reduce inequalities and sustain a national economic growth, with a constant desire to protect the environment.
Before developing any projects, Masen makes sure not to disrupt any existing sites. For this reason, the locations chosen are always far from major population centers and are situated outside of any protected natural environment, so that their development cannot have a negative impact on the environment or cause any conflicts of usage.
In addition, Masen works to define prerequisites for sustainable human development, in order for the national energy transition to serve the socioeconomic betterment of the sites that are home to electrical generation units.
Economically, high value-added renewable projects directly or indirectly create new job opportunities.
Masen aims to set a virtuous cycle in motion in this sector, both on a local and national scale.
Environmentally, Masen pays close attention to identifying potential impacts of projects on the environment throughout their development. Mitigation measures aimed at avoiding, reducing, or offsetting the identified effects are put in place in order to encourage the projects' integration into their surroundings.
Masen seeks to maximize the outcomes of its energy projects by helping to improve the living conditions of local populations, contributing to shared sustainable development, and preserving the environment.
Masen adapts to fit the socio-economic profiles of its host regions by taking action in various sectors, specifically basic infrastructure, education, health, and agriculture. This action can be tailored to the geographic areas targeted, as Masen prioritizes every local development action to be taken in those areas, in coordination with the supervisory stakeholders in each sector. Masen chooses to act as a development arm, working in synergy with local initiatives carried out by other public and private contributors and community associations.
The local development strategy adopted by Masen is therefore meant to be applied to all of the Group's projects. It is based on contribution through three major approaches:
In neighboring villages and settlements: Improve access to water, energy, and digital technology, by improving basic infrastructure and facilities. This also means helping to fight squalor in those neighboring villages and settlements.
In neighboring villages/settlements and border areas: Improve the social environment of the population will further help improve their security in border communes and settlements and to encourage their employability.
In neighboring villages/settlements, border areas, the province/region, and the Kingdom as a whole: Helping develop and revitalize those areas to encourage employment, support economic activities, boost the regional economy through local sustainable development of host areas, and strengthen the capabilities of the social fabric in order to make it a tool for development.
To prioritize the strategic options and define the scope of action, Masen takes into account the socioeconomic and geographic features of each locality where its projects are built, by routinely conducting socioeconomic impact studies of the regions that are supposed to host an energy facility.
In partnership with an NGO called AGRISUD International, the pilot phase of the Agricultural Sector Performance Improvement Program in the Commune of Ghessate 2014-2016 helped assist 119 family farms as they professionalized their work, for a total of 949 beneficiaries. This program aims to directly support the commune's small farmers and strengthen their technical capabilities to improve their agricultural output by guiding them towards sustainable, ecological farming.
In promoting investment and entrepreneurship, Masen has held information seminars intended for entrepreneurs and project leaders from the province, in collaboration with the Young Entrepreneurs Forum (FJE). Masen acts as a facilitator in this respect: 9 projects have received additional funding (self-financing or loans) in the sectors of industry, tourism, construction, and agriculture, enabling the creation of 39 new jobs.
Lastly, Masen is involved in the cultural and sporting life of the region,by sponsoring several events like the Festival Azalay, the Morocco Solar Festival, the Ultra Marathon of Ouarzazate, and the Festival Igrar.
Though the example of Ghessate near the solar facility of Ouarzazate has been impressive, the local development approach is meant to be applied to other renewable energy complexes.
As for the employment, the strategic goal is to maximize value creation in the renewable energy sector by 2020. At Noor Ouarzazate I, the industrial integration rate was 30% of the project's investment cost (equipment, labor, etc.).
Masen encourages developers to favour recruitment of local labor in both its infrastructure projects and within the plants themselves.
At the Noor Ouarzazate I plant alone, 2,000 jobs were created during the construction phase, 80 per cent in Morocco and 30 per cent filled locally. About a hundred positions are expected tp be created for its operation and maintenance over the next 25 years.
The Noor Ouarzazate II and III plants, currently being constructed, will account for nearly 5,000 jobs.
As an essential component of every step of the value chain of projects supported by Masen, their environmental aspects meet the highest national and international standards.
Environmental and social impact studies are always carried out prior to the projects, during the planning phase. Following those evaluations, technical specifications are added to the functional specifications, so that the developers can use, for example, a piece of machinery that generates no excessive noise or air pollution.
An environmental and social management plan is created to accompany the construction and operation phases, including mitigation measures aimed at avoiding, reducing, or offsetting the identified potential impacts.
During these two phases, Masen strives to properly execute these measures and ensures that environmental monitoring is carried out regularly in accordance with national and international requirements.
As part of the innovative national model that the Kingdom has chosen, Masen has developed sizable expertise in developing renewable energies and optimizing the price of clean electricity, strengthening Morocco's exceptional leader position on the world stage.
The African energy context includes a limited electrical generation fleet and increasing demand.
Europe, for its own part, faces stable but high energy needs, and is seeking to add electricity produced from renewable energy sources into its energy mix.
The experience and expertise of Masen in renewable energy has consequently proved suitable for African challenges, while the clean energy developed by Morocco is competitive enough to be used in Africa and Europe.
Through its strategic geographic location strengthened by both electrical transit infrastructure developed in partnership with Spain and Algeria, and by project studies with Mauritania and Portugal, Morocco serves as a regional interconnection platform between Africa and Europe.
The Kingdom considers valuable prospects to trade clean electricity to the north and its expertise in renewable energy to the south.
For its own part, the African continent has exceptional renewable potential, which has not yet been fully exploited.
Morocco is actively working with respect to the MENA region, the Mediterranean basin, and the African continent in setting up a collective climate plan to help fight climate change.
"Africa is a great continent, because of its vital strengths, resources, and potential. It must empower itself[…]. This is why Africa must place its trust in Africa."
(Excerpt from the speech of His Majesty the King at the Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum in Abidjan on February 24, 2014)
"I want to keep our European energy market open to our neighbours. However, if the price for energy from the East becomes too expensive, either in commercial or in political terms, Europe should be able to switch very swiftly to other supply channels."
(Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission)
"Morocco has become the African hub for renewable energy. […] 15% of European energy consumption will come from power produced by Morocco in the years ahead."
(Gilles Pargneaux, European Member of Parliament representative at COP 21)
"[The electrical interconnection between Morocco and Portugal] is a project of great importance, because it will do more to promote our ability to produce and export renewable energy[…]."
(Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal)
The math of electrical interconnections developed by the Kingdom or still in progress includes links to the north with Spain (700 MW since 1997, boosted by 700 additional MW in 2006 and plans for 700 MW more) and to the east with Algeria (400 MW since 1988, increased by 800 additional megawatts in 2009).
Algeria's interconnection with Tunisia makes it possible to link up the Maghreb.
Interconnections with Portugal (1000 MW) and Mauritania are being considered.
Through Morocco's interconnection to Spain, and soon to Portugal, alongside the development of the network with Mauritania, which is linked to Senegal, all of North-western Africa has become interconnected with Europe.
Morocco has expressed a clear desire to develop a regional power grid.
The increasing need for clean energy in Europe demanding a fast energy transition, the high price of kWh for many European countries, and Morocco's national power generation capacity from renewable sources at competitive costs are just some of the factors that support the energy trade from Morocco.
Africa includes a market of over 624 million people without access to electricity and has a sizable solar, wind, hydraulic, and geothermal resources. The continent has expressed a great desire to meet the need of energy needs of its population.
By sharing the experience developed by Masen, triggering a competitive development dynamic in renewable energy at the scale of the African continent, the goal is to make renewable energy a genuine lever for inclusive growth, primarily for the benefit of the most vulnerable people of Africa.
Engaged in the MENA region, active at the scale of the Mediterranean basin, and aware of its African focus oriented towards South-South cooperation, the Kingdom has proven itself to be a responsible and committed regional and continental energy player.
"[…] Africa, which has some of the best solar potential and exceptional wind resources, might be able to satisfy not just its own needs, but also to export its energy elsewhere. The continent's countries, which boast enormous potential, are in a position to trigger a growth dynamic that would make it possible to change the situation, provided that they demonstrate their willingness and manage their resources well."
Excerpt from the article "Mustapha Bakkoury, CEO of Masen ," published July 15, 2016 in Challenge