The Moroccan government published a new strategy on hydrogen Monday, saying the country’s hydrogen economy could potentially support up to 4% of global demand targeted towards international markets.
The country’s favorable climatic conditions and previous investments in renewables could provide cleaner energy to power both the economy and everyday energy use, from household appliances to fueling fuel cells in cars and ships.
“Many foreign countries are planning to become carbon neutral by 2035 to 2050; a plan that cannot be realized without the use of green hydrogen. These countries have neither the space nor the convenient wind and solar resources that countries like Morocco have. Therefore, they will most likely import from Morocco the green hydrogen, as a pure gas or liquid, or using another (chemical) hydrogen carrier, such as green ammonia or methanol”, Samir Rachidi, the Head of the thermal section and hydrogen energy in the institute of solar energy and renewable energy (IRESEN) in Rabat said.
In addition to the country’s own objectives, a recent agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Ministry of Energy sat out a clear ambition for strengthening joint collaboration to advance energy transition and develop technology and market outlook studies and trading of green hydrogen in Morocco.
“It is also a question of ensuring the necessary financing for the development of hydrogen and associated production activities, by strengthening international cooperation with our international partners, as well as the creation of new partnerships in order to seize the opportunities offered by the hydrogen sector,” added Rachidi.
To achieve 4% of global demand for green molecules, the Ministry’s national strategy targets three axes: technologies encompassing technological developments and cost savings, investments and supply through the establishment of an industrial cluster and the development of a master plan for the corresponding infrastructures.
The third axis, of markets and demands, refers to the realization of demand opportunities, giving rise to new markets. Therefore, it is necessary to promote the creation of favorable conditions for the export of hydrogen and its derivatives, with priority given to its export to Europe, where demand is expected to be strong.
These strategic axes are translated into an action plan for 2050 to be implemented gradually and focusing on cost reduction throughout the value chain of the green hydrogen sector and its derivatives.
“Green hydrogen could be the green petroleum of the future, its production will benefit to Morocco on many sectors, such as industry, agriculture, transports and trade. It’s true that its cost is still expensive; but the Kingdom, through its “National Commission on Green Hydrogen” and the “Moroccan Green Hydrogen Cluster”, is now working on the implementation of R&D, pre-industrial and industrial pilot projects. This will help all stakeholders, public and private, to prepare all the necessary measures and milestones in order to optimize the local content of the green hydrogen industry, its applications, as well as the development of exports. Another essential point, is the training of a highly qualified and competitive human capital, by creating a regional R&D and Innovation hub. This will catalyze technology transfer, through the localization of knowledge and know-how. Our country will therefore be ready for the deployment of large scale projects of green hydrogen, as well as other high added value industrial molecules, that will take place in the next 10 years”, Mr. Rachidi explained.
Within the same framework, the ministry plans to create a national industrial cluster dedicated to the development of hydrogen technologies and to draw up a master plan for the corresponding infrastructure.
Morocco is gradually positioning itself as a true pioneer in renewable energies, within the framework of a far-sighted royal vision. The kingdom has launched the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) in 2010 to accelerate the deployment of solar projects. “Noor” is one of the most important worldwide CSP plant with 530 MW installed in 2019 near Ouarzazate in the center of Morocco.
The country deployed its first wind farm in Koudia al Baida with 50 MW in the last decade. As part of its objective of producing 52% of its electricity from green energy by 2030, Morocco sets a target of 2 gigawatts for its wind component.