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Morocco, a potential new player in hydrogen production

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claims that the Alawi country will be able to influence the price of this renewable and sustainable energy
AFP/FADEL SENNA

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

Morocco continues to pursue projects committed to the environment and climate change. For some time now, its solar and wind projects have made the Kingdom a major player in the fight against the greenhouse effect. Due to the decline of the oil trade, renewable energies have become the alternatives in which most investment is being made.

One of the elements being most exploited by the Alawi country is hydrogen. The Kingdom is one of the best placed countries for the production of clean, green hydrogen, behind only the United States, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Australia. The development of this sector has led the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to rank the nation as one of those that invest the most in this resource. They even indicate in their reports that Morocco's importance with respect to hydrogen will mean that the country itself will be able to influence the prices and sale of this energy.

This product is beginning to be used in an attempt to decarbonise industry and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The deterioration of the ecological situation and the incipient climate emergency that experts are warning of in time for a good and secure future are contributing to this. 

PHOTO/PIXABAY – Hidrógeno verde
PHOTO/PIXABAY – Green hydrogen

For its part, Morocco has been able to carve out a niche for itself in this sector for years and has quickly become one of the countries that can most easily produce green hydrogen at low cost. The capitalisation of this sector, along with solar and wind energy, should create an importer status for the Kingdom.

The report published by IRENA, in which this good news is reported, estimates that, by 2050, hydrogen use could reach up to 12% of global energy consumption. On the other hand, it recalls that the importance of this sector would help to improve the world's economies and the unemployment situation of many citizens. The development of green hydrogen would create more than 15,000 jobs.

"Countries that succeed in becoming major exporters of green hydrogen and derived fuels should also gain geostrategic importance," the report concludes.

Green hydrogen is one of the resources that is attracting the most investors and companies around the world to produce. Its use is beginning to be massive and is not going unnoticed by countries such as Morocco, which are leading the rise of the energy revolution. This hydrogen is produced from renewable electricity, whether from wind or solar power, and then created through a process of electrolysis, which breaks down water into dioxygen and hydrogen gas. The beauty of this is that it is an endless resource, compared to its normal version which is obtained from fossil products and has an expiry date. 

PHOTO/REUTERS - Planta de energía termosolar Noor II de Ouarzazate
PHOTO/REUTERS - Noor II solar thermal power plant in Ouarzazate

Morocco has thus become a pioneer in climate and energy policy at the global level, but where it stands out the most is on the African continent. For years, policies to reduce CO2 emissions and other initiatives have been driving the nation's environmentalism.  The Kingdom has been closing its years with increased use of renewable energy for decades. By 2020, 40% of energy use would come from renewables.

The Kingdom's main plans indicate that the situation is set to increase and in the latest report submitted to the UN - the United Nations - it aims to achieve a 70% share of this resource by 2040 and by 2050 it expects to achieve a figure of 80%.

The Alawi kingdom is one of the places in the world with the best climate for the production of large amounts of renewable energy. This is particularly the case for solar energy, as Morocco enjoys long hours of sunshine during the day in both summer and winter. This condition is being exploited by several countries, including some in Europe, which see great potential for a green and sustainable future for the kingdom.