Total Energies, under the leadership of CEO Patrick Pouyanné, has announced plans to study a major wind and solar project in Morocco with the aim of exporting electricity to Europe.
This announcement was made during the Combined General Meeting of shareholders of Total Energies SE, held on May 26, 2023. Morocco, with its national policy for the development of the green hydrogen segment, aims to position itself as a global leader in the coming decade. In support of this vision, Total Energies plans to invest $10.69 billion (100 billion dirhams) in a green hydrogen and ammonia production project in Guelmim-Oued Noun, located in southern Morocco.
While Total Energies has traditionally been more focused on fossil fuel energy, the company is a 30% shareholder in Total Eren, a subsidiary specializing in developing, financing, building, and operating renewable energy plants worldwide. With a gross capacity of 3,500 MW in operation, Total Eren focuses on wind, solar, and hydro energy projects.
The proposed hybrid project in Morocco aims to generate over 10 GW of power by combining solar and wind energy. The Unified Regional Investment Commission (CRUI) granted approval for the project’s launch in November. The CRUI is responsible for evaluating applications related to administrative decisions and authorizations required for investment projects.
However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. One concern is the area of the designated site, which is set at 170,000 hectares, while the project proponents are requesting a larger area of 187,000 hectares. Additionally, there appears to be some reluctance on the part of the executive to fully commit to the project. Despite these obstacles, the Guelmim-Oued Noun project is expected to enter its active phase by 2025, providing significant opportunities such as decarbonizing major sectors, establishing a Moroccan industrial energy sector, and creating numerous jobs.
In addition to benefiting Morocco, the project will also contribute to Europe’s clean energy goals. The first production from the project is anticipated by 2027. Morocco aims to establish a local energy market of 2030 terawatt hours (TWh) and an export market of 4 TWh by 2030.
Total Energies, as a global multi-energy company, is committed to sustainable development and energy transition towards carbon neutrality. The company aims to allocate one-third of its investments to low-carbon energies and achieve a renewable electricity capacity of 100 GW by 2030. However, Total Energies does not plan to abandon fossil fuels entirely. Pouyanné emphasized the need to build the energy system of the future while meeting the world’s current energy demands.