Morocco fourth in worlds’ hydrogen race: Total Eren launches $10.69bln hydrogen megaproject

The total amount is 10.69 billion dollars or 100 billion dirhams. This is the amount pledged by Total Eren to the execution of a hydrogen and green ammonia production project in Guelmim-Oued Noun, an area in southern Morocco.

The hybrid project, which will generate more than 10 GW by mixing solar and wind energy, gained approval from the Unified Regional Investment Commission on November 25, 2021, according to details released on January 25 by persons acquainted with the case. (CRUI). This is the body in charge of making decisions on applications for administrative decisions and authorizations required for the realization of investment projects.

It’s worth noting that this stage clears the way for preliminary work to begin. Topographic studies of the land, which spans more than 170,000 hectares, as well as an examination of the renewable resource and a preliminary design, have already been completed. The building’s techno-economic analyses, as well as the design of electrical infrastructures and the formation of supplier relationships, will be the following steps in the process.

According to estimates from the energy firm, which is a subsidiary of the Eren group and is 30% owned by TotalEnergies, the Guelmim-Oued Noun project will be operational by 2025. The first production will begin in 2027.

It should be highlighted that it will provide the Cherifian monarchy with several opportunities, both domestically and globally. Indeed, it will allow the government to decarbonize key significant areas of its economy first, such as mining and marine transport. Then it provides a chance to establish a Moroccan green energy industrial sector that will produce thousands of direct and indirect employment that are non-relocatable and competitive. Finally, the initiative will make it feasible to provide clean energy to Europe.

Morocco intends to establish a 4 terawatt-hour (TWh) domestic energy market as well as a 10 TWh export market by 2030. A goal that will allow the Kingdom to cement its position as the global leader in the green hydrogen environment. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s paper “Geopolitics of Energy Transformation: The Hydrogen Factor,” issued on January 15, (IRENA).

The country has already inked multiple bilateral agreements to host hydrogen manufacturing infrastructures due to its good environment and strategic location.

Morocco’s plan

Morocco wants to provide the local market with 4 TWh and the international market with 10 TWh by 2030, according to the strategy, which underlines the importance of green hydrogen as a key source of development in the national economy.

Morocco is expanding investment in new and renewable infrastructure with a capacity of 6 GW, as well as supporting the development of more than 15,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, in order to accomplish the targeted objective.

Morocco stands out as a major player in attracting significant investments in the green hydrogen sector, as IRENA forecasts the list of future green hydrogen exporters based on several criteria, including low production costs and the ability to produce renewable energy that already exists. As a result, Morocco stands out as a major player in attracting significant investments in the green hydrogen sector.

Technology-based on hydrogen

According to the IRENA study, technology is a key driver in the race for hydrogen supremacy; between 2010 and 2020, technology patent ownership related to hydrogen increased significantly in Australia, Canada, and Saudi Arabia, and Morocco joined the list of countries with the least activity on the technology front.

Morocco has the potential to benefit from renewable energy resources to assist the expansion of electricity-dependent marine trade; in 2019, Morocco had the second highest volume of maritime trade on the African continent.

Morocco will profit from growing demand for power, and hence higher demand for the Moroccan hydrogen market, as a result of the strong need for marine trade and population expansion.

Green hydrogen is “the cornerstone of the green transformation of the energy and manufacturing sectors” in Morocco, according to a report released by the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development.

Demand for hydrogen

According to the Ministry of Sustainable Development’s policy, Morocco has “huge potential” in the hydrogen race, with the ability to capture up to 4% of world demand for green hydrogen.

Last March, Morocco opened the country’s first green hydrogen pool, a project aimed at developing and manufacturing green hydrogen while also encouraging research and knowledge exchange.

On June 14, 2021, it also announced a partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to transition to a green hydrogen economy.

This coincides with Morocco’s attempts to improve its clean energy objectives by 30 percent and increase the share of renewable energy sources to the national power mix.

Morocco has set a goal of 52 percent renewable energy from total installed capacity by 2030, and the new plan recommends boosting renewable energy’s contribution in the power mix to 70 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050, allowing it to develop green hydrogen production.

Morocco’s energy plan for 2050 is organized around seven goals: strengthening sustainable development governance, enhancing natural resource management and development, encouraging biodiversity conservation, boosting human development, and eliminating social and regional disparities.

Morocco plans to reduce its reliance on traditional thermal power plants (coal, natural gas, and fuel oil) by 2050 and rely more on smart grid technology for storage and demand control, making him a significant participant in the hydrogen race.