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Morocco's renewable energies arouse the interest of French companies

France is interested in Africa's potential for the development of renewable energies and Morocco is a strategic place to start carrying out 'green' projects
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PHOTO/REUTERS    -   Noor II solar-thermal power plant in Ouarzazate

Following the seventh edition of the European Union-Africa Business Summit (EABF), relations between Europe and Morocco appear to be in a very good position. French companies, for their part, are particularly interested in investing in the Moroccan market, which is currently experiencing one of its best moments. This would improve the position of the two territories and would also lead to a modernisation of the Morocco-EU Association Agreement, which is part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). This would allow European countries to operate in the African market.

French brands have long been at the forefront of investment in Morocco, and Morocco is already France's main partner country in Africa, according to international market specialists. For several years, investments in the Kingdom have focused on the automotive, aeronautics and railway sectors, but the focus now seems to have shifted elsewhere. 

Hélène Le Gal, the French ambassador to Morocco, said that France is interested in investing in renewable energies in several parts of the Kingdom. "We may have to look at other sectors, such as renewable energies," she said. 

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AFP/FADEL SENNA - An aerial view of the solar mirrors of the Noor 1 concentrated solar power plant near the city of Ouarzazate.

Africa has long wanted to be tapped to start producing clean, green energy. Energy experts stress that the continent has a strong capacity to develop them due to its meteorological conditions, especially in solar energy. Morocco, in addition to being one of the best places to invest in this sector, would also serve as a gateway to the territory, so the interest of a country like France is nothing new.

Even so, French SMEs are more fearful when it comes to investing in places like Morocco or Africa, something that the biggest brands do not do, and even those established in the Kingdom are already listed on the CAC 40 - the Paris Stock Exchange. Le Gal comments that all these firms will be welcome in the Alaouite kingdom and that, moreover, they have "all the cards in their hands to face Chinese and Turkish competition, whether in Morocco or in the rest of Africa".

She also stresses that the mutual investments between the two territories are historical and have been going on for a long time. The energy and transport company, Alstom, has been established in Morocco for more than 100 years and has manufactured trains such as the TGV (French High-Speed Train) that run in the Maghreb country.

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PHOTO/ARCHIVO  -   Wind energy in Morocco

"Relations between the two countries are already strong and we must strengthen this position by investing in other sectors," Le Gal reminds us. 

It is worth noting that Morocco is one of the most pioneering countries in adopting green strategies. Since 2009, the Kingdom has prioritised plans to start producing renewable energy that has contributed to the development of the country's energy efficiency, as well as increasing and improving its energy mix, while strengthening the nation's integration into this type of energy.

As part of these ecological transition plans, the Maghreb nation has a National Strategy for Sustainable Development (ENDE). The aim of this project is to achieve a 52% use of renewable sources by 2030. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45.5 % by 2030. By 2020, experts have already added that Morocco already uses 40% renewable energy in its energy mix.

The entry of multiple French companies in Morocco means a considerable boost to both the Kingdom's and France's economy and would also open the way for other EU countries. Olivér Varheyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement confirms that this would be a very good way to further consolidate economic and trade partnerships between Morocco and Europe. "It means further integration of European and African markets," he said.