Morocco’s emergence as a green hydrogen leader

Introduction: Green hydrogen in Morocco

In recent years, the global focus on sustainable energy solutions has intensified, driven by concerns over climate change and the need to transition away from fossil fuels. One promising approach in this transition is the development of green hydrogen, a clean, versatile fuel produced through water electrolysis powered by renewable energy sources such as wind or solar. For countries like Morocco, endowed with abundant renewable resources, embracing the green hydrogen economy presents a unique opportunity for economic growth, energy security, and environmental sustainability.

Morocco’s ambitious renewable energy targets, outlined in its National Energy Strategy, underscore the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and diversifying its energy mix. The nation aims to generate 52% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with large investments in solar and wind power infrastructure underway. This shift towards renewables provides a solid basis for developing a green hydrogen economy, as excess renewable energy can be harnessed to produce hydrogen through electrolysis.

In addition, Morocco’s national hydrogen strategy, guided by the National Hydrogen Commission, aims for green hydrogen production to meet a demand of 30 TWh by 2030 and 307 TWh by 2050. It comprises three phases: until 2030, focusing on pilot projects; until 2040, cost reduction and local integration; until 2050, global expansion into various sectors, including heat and mobility. This strategy aligns with Morocco’s renewable energy model and geographic advantage for interconnection with Europe.

Challenges related to green hydrogen

Entering the hydrogen market presents multifaceted challenges, spanning financial risks such as credit risk and interest rate fluctuations, compounded by the absence of tailored insurance products, particularly in areas such as technology failure or supply chain disruptions. Regulatory uncertainties, evolving compliance requirements, and potential policy changes further complicate project planning and implementation. Economic challenges stem from its higher production costs of green hydrogen compared to fossil-based grey hydrogen and most projects rely heavily on incentives for economic viability. In addition, technical challenges include the need for substantial infrastructure development, difficulties in expanding pipeline networks and converting existing natural gas infrastructure as well as complexities in storage and distribution due to its low volumetric energy density, requiring large storage volumes or high-pressure tanks. Furthermore, new technology developments are also necessary to increase the efficiency and lower costs. Bridging skill gaps and fostering collaborations with academia are vital for innovation to drive research & development initiatives. Finally, environmental challenges, such as water scarcity and waste management, require sustainable practices.

Morocco’s strong position and efforts to unlock the green hydrogen economy

ghali.bouzouba

Ghali Bouzouba works in strategy consulting, advising international clients in the energy sector and energy-intensive industries with a focus on decarbonization and asset strategies. He draws upon extensive professional experience in renewable energy and hydrogen as well as deep technical and economic know-how to help companies transform generation portfolios, develop new products and business models as well as execute strategic investment decisions. He studied in Toulouse, France and holds a Master’s degree in Engineering. He is passionate about sustainability and economics.

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