Reliable energy supply is vitally important to meet the growing electricity demand and hence to sustain the socio-economic progress of Morocco. With the kingdom's electricity consumption projected to double by 2025 and to increase more than five times by 2050, substantial investments in additional power generation capacities are required. Faced by the dual challenge of importing 96% of its energy supplies as fossil fuels from abroad, and being highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, Morocco has, therefore, explicitly set low-carbon and climate change resilient development as its strategic development priority.
As a consequence, a myriad of national strategies, plans and programmes have been initiated to achieve poverty-reducing sustainable development whilst taking steps to preserve the environment. Additionally, the kingdom put in place a new National Energy Strategy aiming to reach a share of 52% of installed power capacities from renewable energy by 2030.
Since the planning of new power generation capacities is intrinsically interlinked with societal implications and thus with the operationalization of Morocco's development priority, this paper aims to illustrate the Moroccan energy-development context. From a development policy perspective the following questions are addressed in this paper:
- What defines Morocco's development background and its challenges in regard to socio-economic, socio-political and environmental aspects (Chapter 1)?
- What characterizes Morocco's present and future energy system, and which challenges in sustainable energy planning still persist (Chapter 2)?
- How does Morocco's policy framework address low-carbon development, energy security and participatory governance (Chapter 3)?
- Which recommendations can be given to Moroccan policy-makers to close remaining policy gaps and foster the continuation of the country's move towards low-carbon prosperity (Chapter 5)?