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Morocco Sectors

What is Moroccoʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Power sector in 2030

Morocco’s power sector is dominated by coal, natural gas, and hydropower. In 2020, 39% of the installed electricity capacity was sourced from coal.12 This was followed by 18% from natural gas (both turbines and combined cycle plants), 16.7% from hydropower, 13.5% from wind power, 7.1% from solar, and 5.8% from fuel oil and diesel thermal sources.12

1.5°C compatible pathways indicate that Morocco would need to reduce its reliance on unabated fossil fuels in power generation from 81% in 2019 to between 2-9% in 2030. Coal would need to be fully phased out of the national power mix by 2030, and natural gas would need to be phased out between 2028-2034. This stands in contrast with the country current plans to expand the lifetime of its coal power plants on top of building a 1.3 GW coal power plant (see current situation for more information), which put the country at risk a getting stuck with costly stranded assets. Similarly, carbon intensity would need to drop from 720 gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to a maximum of 50 gCO₂/kWh by 2030, and the sector should be fully decarbonised by between 2035-2038.

This stands in contrast with the country’s NDC target of installing at least 450 MW of imported natural gas capacity and related infrastructure by 2030.12 Morocco’s National Climate Plan also explicitly articulates intentions to increase imports of LPG for industrial use, and to enhance the use of natural gas in the industry sector by 2030.3 Natural gas is projected to reach 23% of total installed capacity of electricity in Morocco by 2030.7 The country also continues to support the use of coal, having commissioned the 1.4 GW Safi ultra-supercritical coal power plant in 2018, and extended the power purchasing agreement at the 2 GW Jorf Lasar coal power plant from 2027-2044.8,9 Morocco is also in the process of building a new 1.3 GW Nador coal power plant.7,13

Collectively, these activities would put the country at risk of being stuck with stranded, carbon-intensive assets with high upfront investment. Continued support for coal and natural gas would also increase Morocco’s dependency on imports, given the negligible reserves of both fossil fuels in the country.

Towards a fully decarbonised power sector

The carbon intensity of Morocco’s power sector would need to reduce from 720 gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to zero by 2038 at the latest to be 1.5°C compatible. This could be driven by a complete phase-out of coal from the power mix by 2030, natural gas by no later than 2034, and other unabated fossil fuels by no later than 2040. Renewable energies should contribute 99-100% of the power mix by 2040, compared to 19% in 2019.

The power sector decarbonisation will almost exclusively be driven by the uptake of renewable energy.

Morocco’s NDC target also aims to increase the share of installed renewable capacities to 52% of the total national capacity by 2030.1 According to the National Climate Plan and Third Biennial Update Report, this would include about 4000 MW of solar and wind power respectively by 2030, and 875 MW of hydroelectric power by 2030.3,4 With Morocco’s total installed hydropower, solar, and wind energy capacity at 3951 MW in 2020, the Government of Morocco would need to significantly accelerate its adoption of renewable energies to comply with 1.5°C compatible pathways.3,12

1 Ministère de l’Energie, des M. et de l’Environnement, D. de l’Environnement. Contribution Déterminée au Niveau National – Actualisée. (2021).

2 Chargé de l’Environnement. 3éme Communication Nationale du Maroc à la Convention Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques. (2016).

3 Chargé de l’Environnement. Plan Climat National à horizon 2030. (2020).

4 Département du Développement Durable. 3ème Rapport Biennal Actualisé du Maroc dans le cadre de la CCNUCC. (2022).

5 Département de l’Environnement. 2ème Rapport Biennal Actualisé Dans le cadre de la convention cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques. (2019).

6 International Energy Agency. Morocco: Data Browser. International Energy Agency. (2022).

7 Climate Action Tracker. Morocco: Policies & action. Climate Action Tracker. (2021).

8 Hatim, Y. Morocco Extends Jorf Lasfar Power Plant Contract With Emirati Company. Morocco World News. (2020).

9 Ministry of Economy and Finance. Signing ceremony for the extension of the Power Purchase Agreement of the Jorf Lasfar Thermal Power Plant. Ministry of Economy and Finance. (2020).

10 Climate Action Tracker. Morocco: Targets. Climate Action Tracker. (2021).

11 MAP Ecology. «Forêts du Maroc 2020-2030» : Une stratégie consacrant la vision royale du DD. Agence Marocaine De Presse. (2020).

12 Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau portable. Production de l’Electricité. Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau portable..

13 Nareva. Our Assets and Projects: Safi Thermal Power Plant. Nareva. (2020).

14 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

15 It should be noted, however, that an increased share of electricity can only facilitate the decarbonisation of the building sector if the electricity is sourced from renewable energies. The “Power” section of this profile elaborates on the pathways for decarbonisation of Morocco’s power sector.

Moroccoʼs power mix

terawatt-hour per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Moroccoʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • 100%RE
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Morocco

Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
10 to 50
−10 to 0
−10 to 0
2035 to 2038
Relative to reference year in %
−99 to −93%
−101 to −100%
−101 to −100%
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
Share of unabated gas
0 to 2
2028 to 2034
Share of renewable energy
91 to 98
99 to 100
Share of unabated fossil fuel
2 to 9


Demand shifting towards the power sector

The 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here tend to show a strong increase in power generation and installed capacities across time. This is because end-use sectors (such as transport, buildings or industry) are increasingly electrified under 1.5°C compatible pathways, shifting energy demand to the power sector. Globally, the “high energy demand” pathway entails a particularly high degree of renewable energy-based electrification across the various sectors, and sees a considerable increase in renewable energy capacities over time. See the power section for capacities deployment under the various models.

Moroccoʼs renewable electricity investments

Billion USD / yr


Yearly investment requirements in renewable energy

Across the set of 1.5°C pathways that we have analysed, annual investments in renewable energy excluding BECCS increase in Morocco to be on the order of USD 1.6 to 3.6 billion by 2030 and 1 to 2.6 billion by 2040 depending on the scenario considered. The ‘high energy demand, low CDR reliance’ pathway shows a particularly high increase in renewable capacity investments, which could be driven by an increase of electrification of end-use sectors and growing energy demand. Other modelled pathways have relatively lower investments in renewables and rely to varying degrees on other technologies and measures such as energy efficiency and negative emissions technologies, of which the latter can require high up-front investments.