On the 17th of November, we had an interesting conversation about the energy transition in Morocco. On this day we were invited to Green Energy Park to give a presentation about our expedition and for a tour on the campus.
About green energy park
Green Energy Park is a joint venture between the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and Morocco’s Institute of Solar Energy and Renewable Energy Research (IRESEN), to test and research renewable energy developments.
Their goal is to minimize the effects of climate change. Morocco wants to do this by focusing on renewable energy. The kingdom hopes to produce more than 50% of its electricity needs through renewable methods by 2030.
Green Energy Park boasts a platform that is “the first in Africa,” that permits sharing infrastructure for research, as well as enabling information and research sharing between different universities and institutions.
On the 17th of November, an event was organized at Green Energy Park, about our expedition. This was arranged by Mike Dempsey, who we met during the Fully Charged Live exhibition in Amsterdam in April of this year.
We gave an extensive presentation about our expedition and the car to several students and teachers. It was fantastic to see their interest and expertise matched ours, as they just kept on asking questions and sharing ideas.
– What to do with our solar panels once they don’t work anymore? We should look for a way to reuse the materials.
– They noticed potential in optimizing the car battery. It is our choice to use the standard battery, so we won’t change it. However, if the battery would be preheated before charging, this would go a lot quicker.
Sustainable solutions for Morocco
After our presentations, we visited a startup on the campus that is producing new charging stations. A very interesting dialogue started about implementing electric driving. Apparently in Morocco energy is sold by only one company, a monopoly. Therefore no one else can sell energy. Which makes it hard for charging station providers to realize a business case. The good news for locals is that charging is therefore always free! A big advantage that makes driving electric more interesting. Sometimes a bit more parking fee is charged, but this is all that can be done. What does this mean for the future?
We were shown that Morocco already has quite some charging stations, you just need to know how to find them. Electric cars are rare, as they are expensive but also hard to come by. At the Skoda dealer we visited earlier they had never seen a Skoda Enyaq yet…
When comparing our countries, solar panels are implemented very differently as well. Here netting, known as ‘salderen’ in the Netherlands, is not an option. In the Netherlands, this is the reason investing in solar panels is very interesting. But in Morocco energy produced needs to be used at the same time otherwise it is a loss.
The only advantage is that here in Morocco the home battery is more interesting. But still, the investment for solar panels and a home battery is js for most locations just too high.
For us, it was so interesting to hear the differences and also the impact this has on a country. We are used to the challenges in the Netherlands, but here it is just completely different!