Roadmap to be developed on geothermal energy utilisation in Morocco, Northern Africa

Roadmap to be developed on geothermal energy utilisation in Morocco, Northern Africa Tarfaya, northeastern Morocco (source: flickr/ tedxtarfayalive, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 2 Feb 2020

With estimated good potential, Morocco is looking at the utilisation of geothermal energy for direct use and is setting up a committee to develop a roadmap for geothermal development in the country.

This week, a workshop took place to discuss the potential of geothermal energy in Morocco as well as its prospects at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and the Environment.

The workshop was chaired by Mr. Aziz RABBAH, Minister of Energy, Mines and the Environment, with the participation of Ms. Amina BENKHADRA Director General of Marocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), of Mr. Mohammed GHAZALI Secretary General of the Department of Energy and Mines as well as representatives of Ministerial Departments and public organizations in the occurrence, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of National Spatial Planning, Town Planning, Housing and City Policy, ONEE, OCP and Masen.

This workshop saw the presentation of the studies which were carried out by ONHYM in terms of the principles and uses of geothermal energy, of a synthesis on the geothermal potentialities in Morocco in particular in the Oriental region, as well as a study on the geothermal potential in the southern provinces.

Since 2012, the ONHYM included geothermal energy in its research programs, in order to verify the geological hypotheses put forward in the potential areas and delimit the potential aquifers in the sites deemed favourable. More than 1,500 water points have been inventoried and integrated. The synthesis of the geothermal potentials of Morocco made it possible to highlight an important geothermal potential. Two potential areas have been targeted for detailed studies, namely Northeast Morocco and the Tarfaya – Laayoune – Dakhla basins in the Southern Provinces.

The interest based on these resources lies in the importance and the multitude of their uses, particularly in direct use (domestic heating, cattle and sheep farming, greenhouse crops, soil heating, balneotherapy, aquaculture) and in the production of electricity from clean and secure sources thus contributing to the diversification of energy production.

The Minister stressed the need to study the means of creating partnerships with the regions in order to adopt mechanisms to promote investments in geothermal energy having a significant socio-economic impact in terms of tourism, agriculture and source of creation jobs for the benefit of the regions concerned.

At the end of this workshop Mr. Aziz RABBAH asked for the establishment of a geothermal technical committee which will have to meet periodically and which will be steered by ONHYM and which and composed of representatives of all the actors and Departments concerned in order to draw up a roadmap of the potentials for the development of geothermal energy in Morocco in the various fields in particular tourism, agriculture, electricity production by April 2020.

Mr. RABBAH also asked to explore the opportunities offered by geothermal energy, in particular through feedback from countries that have made progress in this area.

Thus, it was decided to organize a workshop soon in partnership with the actors concerned with the objective of exploring the potentials and perspectives of the Kingdom in geothermal energy within the framework of strengthening the sustainable management of natural resources which conceal Moroccan soil and subsoil, in accordance with Royal directives in this sense.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the Department of Energy and Mines is currently preparing a regulatory text relating to geothermal energy with a view to developing the fields of exploration, research and exploitation of new geothermal potentials of the Kingdom.

Source: Hiba Press