Characteristics and Perspectives of Wind Energy in Morocco

Nfaoui, H.; Essiarab, H.; Sayigh, A.
September 2008
Wind Engineering;Sep2008, Vol. 32 Issue 5, p449
Academic Journal
Morocco depends on 85% foreign sources of its energy supply. The oil invoice accounts for nearly 22.3% income from exports. In Morocco, the use of wind energy began before 1930, through the importation of windmills from USA by the French colony, to pump water for livestock and population in the country. An estimated 1000 of these units were in use in Morocco [1]. Following the rising price of oil after the first oil-price shock in the early 1970s, the days of cheap and plentiful petroleum were drawing to an end. Morocco began to promote and develop renewable energy mainly solar energy. Wind energy is the most promising alternative energy resource in Morocco because of its good geographic location (3446 km of coast, Straits of Gibraltar, Rif and Atlas Mountain at 4167 metres and the Taza corridor) which permits Morocco to have available the largest wind potential in the North Africa. At 10 m, the annual mean wind speed can reach 11m/s in the Tetouan region and 8 m/s in the Dakhla site. The Moroccan wind potential is estimated at 21,000MW. In the framework of diversification of national energy resources, various actions have been taken for the use of wind energy as a national energy resource. It is mainly about: - Diversifying the actors, both public and private, - Concluding consessional contracts between the National Office of Electricity (ONE) and private electricity producers using wind energy to satisfy theirs own needs, - Increasing the autoproduction threshold to 50MW with the aim of installing 1000MW by modifying the laws governing the electricity production. Since wind energy is economic on windy sites and the capital costs are continue to decline with the move to larger wind turbines [2,3], the Moroccan government has set a target of achieving 20% of its electricity supply from wind energy by 2020. It has started to pay attention to developing its indigenous wind energy resources and has encouraged wind technology transfer from other countries. On top of that, wind energy could have a significant and beneficial impact on the environment, particularly with regard to the greenhouse effect.



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