Dr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has commended Morocco for its commitment to sustainable energy stating that the country can be a model for other countries in North Africa and beyond.
Dr Birol met Morocco’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, His Excellency Dr Abdelkader Amara, earlier this month to discuss ways in which the IEA and Morocco can build on their existing relationship and extend cooperation. Mr. Amara was in Paris to deliver a keynote speech at an IEA forum on Integrating Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, recognising Morocco’s early successes in this field.
“Morocco’s leadership and commitment to a sustainable energy policy can be a model for other countries in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, particularly in the electricity sector” said Dr. Birol, adding that the IEA considered Morocco to be among its key partner countries.
Speaking at the high-level forum, Dr Amara said Morocco has been able to exceed its renewable energy targets thanks to the strong commitment to a sustainable energy policy by King Mohammed VI.
In 2009, the government adopted a national energy strategy, setting clear targets for wind, solar and hydropower. It was one of the first countries in the Middle East and North Africa to reform most of its fossil-fuel subsidies while adopting energy efficiency measures to reduce energy demand.
The IEA has also been providing support to Morocco in its preparations to host the Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech in November. Dr Birol wished the Moroccan government success in hosting the important climate talks, which follows the landmark Paris agreement to limit harmful carbon emissions.
The basis of the IEA’s collaboration with Morocco began in 2007, focusing particularly on the areas of energy policy, statistics, and R&D. The IEA’s 2014 energy policy review of Morocco was the first dedicated to a country in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Earlier this year, the IEA published a report under its Partner Country Series on findings from a pilot study testing the IEA’s Clean Energy Technology Assessment Methodology in Morocco, one of three countries chosen for the case study.
Image: His Excellency Dr Abdelkader Amara, Morocco’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment (IEA)