Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Morocco hopes to reduce energy use by 12% by 2020

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Written by Julie Chaudier, CASABLANCA on Thursday, December 5th 2013 à 15:38 | Read 1313 times


With its trade balance hampered by oil product imports, Morocco has launched the Energy Efficiency Convention, which aims to reduce energy consumption by 12%. A programme to replace gas pumps with solar pumps will soon get under way in the agriculture sector.

Saïd Moulin, CEO Aderee (photo DR)
Saïd Moulin, CEO Aderee (photo DR)
MOROCCO. In the Mediterranean region, Morocco is performing better than the European Union: it consumes less than 62 tonnes of oil equivalent per percentage point change in GDP, versus 88 for the EU. The reason is that its energy bill weighs on its trade balance. This bill reached MAD 98 billion (€8.7 billion) in 2012.

In mid-December 2013, Morocco's National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE) will report on the Energy Efficiency Convention it launched at the beginning of the year.

The agency has already identified several large sectors with a view to reducing energy consumption by 12% by 2020 and 15% by 2030. Agriculture is one of these sectors. ADEREE is particularly targeting pumps, tractors, motors, drying rooms and livestock buildings.

"With the help of the Crédit Agricole Maroc Group, we performed energy audits on 10 large farms in Morocco", explains Saïd Mouline, CEO of ADEREE.

Thanks to the recommendations made, the average annual results per farm are particularly encouraging: 100 fewer tonnes of CO2 emissions, a saving of 130,000 KWh, equal to MAD 180,000 (€16,000), for an initial investment of just MAD 140,000 (€12,500), which means a guaranteed profit after nine months, notes Crédit Agricole.

Profitable solar pumps

(photo Aquanergie solaire)
(photo Aquanergie solaire)
ADEREE wants to achieve these savings by replacing old gas- and diesel-powered water pumps with solar pumps.

"We are making available MAD 400 million (€35.7 million) of subsidies to help farmers reach their goals,"says Mr Mouline. As of the start of 2014, small-scale farmers will be able to get a loan from Crédit Agricole together with a subsidy from the agricultural development fund of up to 50% of the cost of the investment. "

Nearly 8,000 small and mid-sized farms should be able to install eco-friendly pumps.
"Solar pumps require a significant investment, but it is much more profitable for farmers in the long run. That is why we have decided to help only the small-scale farmers who are unable to make such a large upfront investment," explains Mr Mouline

There is unlikely to be any regulatory obligation on large farms to also make the switch to solar pumps.
"In general, farmers are receptive because it is a truly profitable system. Several large farms have even made the switch under their own steam. We intend to raise awareness among these wealthy landowners in an attempt to show them what is in their interest, but we will not subsidise them," adds the CEO of ADEREE.

The switch from gas to solar power will also come as a relief to the Moroccan government, which provides a subsidy of MAD 100 per bottle of gas. Some farms use as many as 30 bottles per week to power their pumps.

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