Morocco: 1st Producer of Wind Power in MENA Region

Wind turbines in windfarm

Morocco’s efforts in renewable energy are paying their due. With installed capacity estimated at 892 megawatts, Morocco now ranks second in Africa and the Middle East (MEA) for wind farming.

According to a recent study published by the Danish firm MAKE Consulting titled “Middle East and Africa Wind Power Outlook”,  South Africa and Morocco in 2016 represented more than 80 percent of new added wind power capacity in MEA.

The study highlights Morocco’s progressive laws on renewable energies, which it says “remains a strong driver supporting wind power growth.” The Kingdom’s law 13-09 allows private power producers to supply electricity to the grid or to a third party via a PPA.

In total, new wind power capacity in the Middle East and Africa region in 2016 amounted to 676 megawatts. This additional capacity was mainly due to South Africa (459 megawatts) and Morocco (100 megawatts) with the Akhfenir II park.

This new additional capacity brings the region’s cumulative wind power capacity up to 4.2 gigawatts, compared to only 1 GW at the end of 2010.

When it comes to wind power development, the report notes that the Middle East remains behind Africa, accounting for only 8.7 percent of total cumulative capacity in the MEA region in 2016. The remaining 91.3 percent were installed in South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt.

MAKE Consulting expects the region’s capacity to skyrocket throughout the next decade, with an expected 40 gigawatts being installed between 2017 to 2026, marking a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent.

This forecast would be driven, says MAKE, by significant wind resources across the region and a more developed and experienced value chain, which is expected to gradually reduce the cost of electricity generated by wind power across the region (down 15 percent from 2017 to 2022).

The implementation of auctions in countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and the UAE has resulted in some of the cheapest bidding prices globally for both wind and solar projects.