GWEC ranks Morocco among top 5 in global floating offshore wind power production

MOROCCO – Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) ranks Morocco among the top 5 countries likely to emerge as global hubs for floating offshore wind energy, a technology that is set to see unprecedented growth in the coming years

Morocco’s thriving offshore wind energy market has put the North African kingdom in first place in Africa and in the MENA region, according to the GWEC, the leading wind energy tracking institution.

After 30 years of growth, floating offshore wind is now a mature technology, whose deployment around the world is accelerating.

Out of 115 countries examined by the GWEC, five of them were highlighted by the authors of the report: Ireland, Italy, the Philippines, the United States (west coast), and Morocco.

These five countries are considered to be the most equipped markets, from a technological and political point of view, to rapidly develop projects in the floating offshore wind sector and become world giants.

The council states that the country boasts a “significant resource and a government committed to renewable growth,” and meets all the seven criteria established by the GWEC to measure countries’ potential.

The criteria include in particular technical capacities, climatic and geographical conditions, and above all strong and ambitious public policies in terms of the development of renewable energies.

In terms of wind resources, the GWEC reports that wind speeds off the Moroccan coast vary considerably, with winds as low as 5 m/s for the main cities of Casablanca and Rabat.

The largest area with access to high wind speeds is off the southern Atlantic coast, where water depths drop sharply near the shore and are generally between 60 and 500 meters,” explains the GWEC.

In addition to the abundance of wind resources, Morocco can rely on a strong political will to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and the use of renewable energies.

The country’s government has been instrumental with its continued display of significant will to set and reach renewable energy targets. It plans to add a capacity of 4.2 GW for wind energy by 2030.

Additionally, support mechanisms for green projects, which are based on public-private partnerships between operators and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), are favorable to the large-scale deployment of floating offshore wind projects.

All these assets are likely to make Morocco a major player in floating offshore wind power, while growth forecasts for this market worldwide are constantly being revised upwards.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that floating offshore wind projects will have to be multiplied by 13 by 2030 worldwide to reach 80 GW of capacity by 2030.

Morocco launched its first environmental plan in 2009, with the goal of sourcing 42% of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

The 2020 target was achieved, and the government has set a new renewable energy target of 52% by 2030.

While Morocco is yet to set up goals for offshore wind farms, the country has an overall wind target set to increase national wind energy input to 1000 megawatt (MW) by 2024, explained the GWEC report.

As of 2022, southern Morocco’s coastal town of Tarfaya is also home to Africa’s biggest wind farm, with a capacity of 301 MW.

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