This chapter includes the following articles.
As a net importer of energy, Morocco is faced with the challenging proposition of satisfying rising local demand while keeping its import bill in check. As a result, energy independence is at the top of the government’s agenda, bundled with efforts to improve domestic energy infrastructure, such as refinery capacities, storage and power generation, and more efficient use of cleaner energy sources. With consumption figures and global commodity prices rising, the government’s balance sheet has been under increasing pressure. According to the Minister of Energy, Mines Water and Environment, total expenditure on energy imports – dominated by crude and refined oil products – rose from 7% of GDP in 2009 to 10.7% in 2011, when it equalled Dh85bn (€7.55bn). Bold energy policies have attracted significant investor interest in recent years, and as a result, an increasing number of players are addressing opportunities in the upstream segment. Morocco is also looking south, where promising growth in the West African market is generating interest among policymakers’ in developing grid connections. Significant challenges remain, however, in terms of funding government-owned entities and so far largely unsuccessful hydrocarbons exploration. This chapter contains interviews with Amina Benkhadra, Managing Director, National Hydrocarbons and Mining Office (ONHYM), and Ali Fassi Fihri, Managing Director, Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE)