Morocco is making a bid to become Europe’s primary source of green energy, thanks to abundant sunshine and undersea cables.
Europe is racing toward its goal of transitioning to renewable energy, spurred by its efforts to end its dependence on Russian oil in the wake of that country’s invasion of Ukraine. Morocco may hold the key, thanks to its abundant sunshine and relatively close proximity to Europe.
Because it doesn’t have any oil reserves, Morocco was never able to cash in on the oil boom that other North African and Middle Eastern countries did. According to The Washington Post, Moroccan leaders see an opportunity to become a leader in the next energy revolution.
“Other countries leverage the fact that they have oil. We don’t. We leverage wind and solar,” Mohamed Alaoui, managing director of Africa Climate Solutions, told the Post. “In Morocco we see it as a huge opportunity.”
Morocco has already built a massive solar facility near Ouarzazate, but experts say there is no practical reason the country can’t significantly expand its solar capabilities. In fact, energy economist Jonathan Walters says, “there’s almost unlimited potential.”
In addition to its abundant sunshine, Morocco benefits from the fact that it has ample available land that is flat and not in use, unlike much of Europe. Morocco is already connected to Spain via undersea power cables that span the ten-mile wide Strait of Gibraltar. It
“The comparative advantage is pretty straightforward as long as policies don’t discriminate against it,” said Walters.