Morocco is investing heavily in power generation capacity to meet surging demand, which is set to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2030. Renewables are tipped to provide some 6gw (split evenly between wind, solar and hydro) or almost a thirdof 2020 projected capacity. Rabat is planning to invest $9bn in solar alone through to 2020 and it is enlisting around $7.6bn of private sector investment in independent power projects (IPPs), albeit not all on renewables, over the next seven years.

Trade deficits have been widening, and like others in the region, the country has been hit hard by a combination of high energy and commodity prices and the global economic downturn (see p18). But Rabat has benefitted by escaping Arab Spring unrest. Funding has been made available and the country has been experiencing a quiet investment boom, with strong interest being shown in both the power and the upstream sector (MEES, 1 and 8 February). On 1 February the first tranche of a $2.5bn loan from GCC countries was paid, Reuters reported. On 4 February, the IMF reaffirmed Morroco’s eligibility for a $6.3bn Precautionary Liquidity Line arrangement over two years. And last September the African Development Bank approved $800mn in loans for the country’s solar and wind power sectors. (CONTINUED - 384 WORDS)