Interview: Saïd Mouline

How is Morocco promoting energy efficiency?

SAÏD MOULINE: For over 10 years Morocco has been transitioning to sustainable energy, creating new energy markets around high-power, renewable energy programmes. These efforts have been led by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, while energy efficiency and smaller-scale renewable energy projects in the construction, transport, industry and agriculture sectors have been managed by AMEE.

These projects play an important role in investment in the sustainable energy sector and have the ability to catalyse national economic development, reduce energy use and dependence, and lower our greenhouse gas emissions. Morocco has set a target of generating 52% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Out of all our sectors, transport is the most energy-intensive, representing 38% of the country’s energy consumption, followed by construction at nearly 33%, industry at 21%, and agriculture and fishing at almost 8%. As such, several strategies have been identified – particularly in the areas of regulation, finance, communication and training – aimed at reducing energy consumption. The transport sector represents the greatest potential for energy savings, as much as 24%, followed by industry and construction, with 17% and 14%, respectively.

Which types of energy-saving programmes have already been launched in Morocco?

MOULINE: We are currently implementing several strategies related to saving energy. These include sustainable construction programmes, thermal building regulations, promoting sustainable mobility and increasing energy efficiency in public lighting.

We have already implemented technical requirements for new thermal regulations in the construction industry. The thermal regulation decree will help us achieve our objectives for the sector related to the environmental friendliness of new buildings. In the agricultural sector AMEE is implementing a national programme to support and improve the industry by encouraging the use of solar water pumps for irrigation instead of gas or diesel pumps. Every 1% of energy savings Morocco achieves represents Dh700m ($73m) in savings on our energy bill.

What are the incentives for companies to implement energy efficiency initiatives?

MOULINE: We are working to publicise incentives to the industrial sector in two ways. First, local banks can provide industrial stakeholders with special financing for projects aimed at saving energy. Moroccan companies can access loans for such projects with an investment subsidy of 10% and also receive free technical assistance for project evaluation, implementation and verification. Out of the 230 projects already completed, 215 were in the transport, industry, tourism, food and construction sectors. We have also been working alongside a number of international institutions and banks to establish other lines of credit to encourage such initiatives.

The second component is awareness and training. To this end, AMEE has held training sessions with the UN Industrial Development Organisation that focused on accelerating energy efficiency projects within the country’s industrial sector. Moroccan companies are eligible to receive government support if they have implemented energy-management systems that are in line with the ISO 50001 standard.

Additionally, we periodically organise seminars in different industrial regions related to energy usage in segments of the sector. We also work to raise awareness on national energy efficiency policy and inform companies on how the new energy audits will be implemented. Our efforts specifically geared towards manufacturers are helping them significantly reduce their energy bills while increasing their competitiveness and lessening their impact on the environment.