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    Electricity: Spanish Ministry Prioritizes Morocco in New Plan

    Morocco is among the countries involved in interconnection plans with Spain.

    16 Feb 2021

    The Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition has proposed prioritizing a Spain-Morocco interconnection project in its recently published planning proposal for 2021-2026.

    It proposes prioritizing the link with Morocco by abandoning construction work to interconnect with France through the Pyrenees.

    The proposal suggests a budget of €6.66 million to meet electricity demands for 2021-2026. Out of the €6.66 million, it proposes that €1.06 million be invested in reinforcing current interconnections with Morocco, France, Portugal, and Andorra.

    According to The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), an additional €759 million will be invested in new international interconnections.

    By 2026, the Spanish government plans to have a new circuit in the Morocco-Spain interconnection and a new interconnection between Spain and Andorra. It also seeks to construct a Spain-France interconnection through the Bay of Biscay and reinforce the Spain-Portugal northern axis.

    Red Electric of Spain (REE) explains that “[international] interconnections are the set of lines and substations that enable the exchange of energy between neighboring countries.”

    International interconnections are beneficial to the countries involved. REE lists a number of advantages, such as security of supply, improved usage of renewable energy, and more convenient energy exchanges.

    Morocco became a net exporter of electricity in 2019.

    Two factors made the shift possible. One was the launch of multiple power generation projects, including the Safi thermal power plant, that boosted Morocco’s production. The second factor involved Morocco’s decreased electricity consumption due to the change in daylight saving time.

    Morocco’s Exchange Office revealed that the exports were valued at MAD 570 million (about €54 million) in 2019. Electricity exports from Morocco to Spain surpassed 1,207 GWh in the same period, according to REE.

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