The IEA recently published its country review of the energy policies of Morocco. It is the first such review that the IEA has done for any African country.
Morocco’s energy strategy is very much on target, with notable advances in wind and solar power and on fuel subsidy reform, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its in-depth review of Morocco’s energy policies. The new report notes that while the country’s power sector restructuring is under way, there is scope for further progress in energy efficiency.
The report explains that, unlike some of its neighbours in the region, Morocco is highly dependent on imported energy. Over 91% of energy supplied comes from abroad: coal, oil and oil products from world markets; gas from Algeria; and imported electricity. This is a significant burden on the balance of payments, and, insofar as some energy supplies are subsidised, a drain on the budget.
The high dependence on imports means that there are energy security issues that have to be addressed. And the high dependence on fossil fuels also means that there is a relatively high level of GH emissions. Morocco, therefore, shares many of the same energy challenges that are faced by the majority of IEA member countries: affordable energy supply, security of supply and sustainability.
Since the report gave considerable attention to energy efficiency, it is useful to review the recommendations that the IEA made to the government of Morocco.
The recommendations on energy efficiency
To optimise the potential sources of energy savings, the government of Morocco should:
- Establish a national energy efficiency action plan, including targets for reducing energy consumption per sector in addition to the overall target of improving energy efficiency, which describes in detail the measures to be implemented and indicators necessary for subsequent evaluation of the impact of the recommended measures.
- Ensure the coherence of the energy performance requirements among the different policy instruments in use (e.g. building energy code (BEC) and labelling of certain appliances) to ensure credibility of the overall energy efficiency strategy.
- Do things in order: first design energy efficiency policies, then allocate financial subsidies or distribute efficient equipment (e.g. establish a phase-out policy for inefficient light bulbs before distributing CFLs).
- Align on international good practice and avoid destroying potential sources of energy savings by considering obsolete energy efficiency policies (e.g. preferring the performance- based approach to the prescriptive approach for BEC).
- Accelerate the adoption and implementation of decrees and implementing acts and their accompanying measures, particularly as concerns the BEC.
- Align as much as possible on European legislation on reducing the energy consumption of household and lighting appliances and vehicles. The goal is to eliminate inefficient products from the Moroccan market.
- Create a dedicated energy efficiency fund supported by international energy efficiency funds as well as by national funds (taxes, etc.). The fund would serve to finance the development and implementation of energy efficiency measures, training, stakeholder education and R&D.
- Evaluate financial incentive programmes to ensure that the intended socio-economic categories are the actual beneficiaries
- Plan awareness-raising campaigns aimed at national financial institutions and citizens to ensure that as many stakeholders as possible support the government’s energy efficiency strategy.
- Provide for procedures to check energy performance on the ground and enforce penalties for non-compliance.
Information on obtaining the report is available on the IEA website.