|Summary:||Morocco, which has no conventional energy resources, depends entirely on the international primary energy market to satisfy its growing energy demand due to its economic growth and demographic progression. The majority of its energy source supply is imported. Therefore, Morocco has been implementing important energy strategies that support the country’s transition to renewable energy and an energy efficiency that generalizes across all consumer sectors of the economy. To fulfill this energy transition, public institutions were created to accompany Morocco’s energy vision and to drive the development of projects in the priority areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Further policy adaptation to liberalize the renewable energy market was adopted, and financial mechanisms have been created to stimulate private sector involvement. But the country still needs to overcome many barriers related to the policy, financial, and technical frameworks. Many studies have proven that the expansion of renewable energy is related to considerable economic and social benefits.
With regards to demographic situation (as of 2017, 42.32% are between 24 and 50 years of age), an action plan should be made to ensure employment for the population. In 2011, many countries of the Maghreb Arab have experienced anti-government protests because of the fragile economic situation in this region. The so-called Arab spring took place also in Morocco. The protests were peaceful, but the message was clear: the government has to improve the economic situation of the population.
On one hand, several possibilities have been available to boost the economy of Morocco, and on the other hand, the solutions adopted seem not to be measured for this country.
As we point out in this work, Morocco has assets to succeed in the sectors where divine blessing and geography offers natural resources without limits, and these are entirely absent at the industrial and scientific levels. Whereas Morocco controls huge oceanographic areas with its 3446 km of marine coastline, for which it has sovereign rights up to 200 nautical miles which delimit the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the marine energy industry is non-existent. At the same time, its traditional partners have already mastered the energies of the seas on a large scale through their investments in R&D and their support of the industrial sectors. The world leaders in marine energy include the United Kingdom, which hosts the most important tidal turbine energy reserve in the world at Pentland Firth in northern Scotland, which boasts of 3300 MW of offshore wind power, followed by Canada which has a natural potential of 35.7 gigawatts in marine (excluding offshore wind) energy. New entrants such as the United States, China, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and France have also invested in this sector and display their strong ambitions of developing their production capacities.
Also, the demographic situation Morocco’s seems to be attractive as a cheap production country for the international industry. Two free zones were opened up during the last 6 years, one in the north of the country, near the city Tanger, and one in the northwest, near the city Kenitra. These areas, where several international firms of the automotive sector have been relocating their production facilities, like Kromberg & Schubert, Renault, Peugeot as well as the renowned Siemens Group.
According to these aspects, the Moroccan government has the best conditions to improve the economic and social situation of the population.
The DESERTEC concept, which aims at creating a global renewable energy plan based on the concept of harnessing sustainable power from sites where renewable sources of energy are more abundant and transferring it through high-voltage, direct-current transmission to the centers of consumption, selected Morocco as a country predestined to start the project “SAHARA CONVERSION”, where all kinds of renewable energy sources are envisioned (DESERTEC FUNDATION, 2003). But the project negotiations were stopped. Both, the Moroccan government and the European Union should not have passed on this opportunity. In addition to the economic benefit, the Union European by their actions could solve the consistent problem of illegal immigration from Africa to Europe. Actually, many people from underdeveloped African countries embark on a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea for Europe in the hopes of a better life. In parts of Africa, particularly Mauritania and Morocco, trafficking of immigrants to Europe has become more lucrative than drug trafficking. Some migrants die during the journey.
Considering all these aspects, and according to the results of this work as well as the recommendations mentioned, the expansion of renewable energy use in Morocco should be supported in a structured way.
Especially in the area of research and development and the transfer of know-how should be focused on to assure enough specialists in the several economic sectors. As the results regarding the employment show, the expansion of renewable energy leads to the creation of new jobs which should be occupied by local employers. In the case that a lack of specialists exists, the new jobs will be occupied by specialists from a broad which is precisely not the purpose of supporting the expansion of renewable energy.
Another aspect we didn’t consider in this work refers to the energy efficiency. The development of the energy efficiency is also an area that must be focused on. Of course, the efficiency of the energy production is a very important aspect that must be considered, but the energy efficiency at the consummation is relevant. Supporting the energy efficiency, similar to supporting renewable energy, allows one to profit from several advantages. This can be analogous to the methodology used in this work to investigate the economic impacts of developing the energy efficiency.
Contrary to the path taken by the European Union and the USA, Morocco’s policy neglects the development of electromobility. This term includes fully electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles as well as those using hydrogen fuel cell technology. All of these represent ideas for electronically driven vehicles of the future. Discussions about electromobility are sometimes combined with other concepts such as microcontrollers and sensors that work toward a better energy efficiency of the vehicles.
In the chapter’s recommendations, we mentioned diverse techniques that can meaningfully be used in Morocco and also in similar countries. These technical recommendations have positive effects on the economy as well as social benefits.
Renewable energy has experienced unprecedented growth and deployment, with prices declining dramatically. Therefore, international studies on the effects on employment now cover more countries and have become increasingly refined. Similarly, the impacts on employment along the value chain have become much better understood.
For future research, we pointed out that the input-output analyses used are in fact helpful. But to control what has been achieved and will be achievable along the expansion path, a monitoring tool and process should nonetheless be implemented. The reason is to see where the country stands at any given point in time, to fine-tune the incentives or to adjust and strengthen the instruments if necessary. Monitoring will also serve the detection of successes and will support the development along the paths by encouraging the continuity of the successful strategies and incentives. Also, the use of surveys and inventories, even they are time-consuming and costly represent a good tool to help researches in this area. They can provide a simple and effective way of assessing how many jobs there are in specific sectors, regions, or countries. Surveys are usually carried out in the form of a questionnaire sent out to the corresponding companies, government departments, or analysts. Inventories are commonly based on a regional or national database to provide employment statistics. Some such studies are comprehensive, whilst others offer only a snapshot, or ‘scale‐up’ a more limited review so that it can provide an estimate of green jobs in a whole country or region. Inventories and surveys, if repeated consistently over a prolonged period, can also provide a useful measure of the extent of the new employment realized by policies aimed at developing employment in sustainable sectors (ILO ITC, 2013).