CEO of the Moroccan agency for energy efficiency AMEE
The energy transition is based on two axes of equal importance. The first is that of renewable energy, which permits production of low-carbon energy; nowadays, when good policies are implemented, investors scramble to develop such projects. The other axis of the energy transition is that of energy efficiency; unfortunately, energy efficiency continues to be perceived as a poor relation of renewable energy. Because energy efficiency comes with policy rather than high-visibility projects such as solar or wind power plants, the issue is less visible than renewable energy. Nevertheless, energy efficiency offiers just as much positive impact for the economy and the environment. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and its member states have identified energy efficiency as both the fastest and the least expensive option for addressing energy security issues and economic and environmental challenges. Often, during the COPs, only renewable energies are raised in discussions on mitigation, whereas, in fact, good energy efficiency policies can have as much impact, if not more, on greenhouse gases emissions. In Morocco, a Royal Letter to the National Energy Forum of March 2009 gave priority to renewable energy and energy efficiency in national energy policy. Today, the goal for 2030 is for renewable energy to reach 52% of electric capacity and for energy efficiency to achieve a 20% reduction compared to a business as usual scenario. The Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE, formerly known as ADEREE) is responsible for promoting energy efficiency across several targeted sectors (transport, construction, industry, agriculture and public lighting). This entails putting in place new regulations,dedicated funding, as well as pilot projects, training programs and awareness-building initiatives. At the industrial level, it is important to raise awareness among industrial actors about best practices enabling them to reduce both their energy bills and their emissions. This is done in collaboration with the Moroccan private sector, represented by CGEM, which has a committee dedicated to energy, climate and the green economy. Financial tools were also made available to facilitate investment in this area. Developed with the assistance of multiple international and national financial players and a total of nearly 100 million dollars, MorSEFF is the financing line of sustainable energy for Moroccan private companies. It offiers loans or leasing through local partner banks, investment subsidies but also free technical support measures for the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for better business competitiveness. Financing energy efficiency therefore requires approaches distinct from those proposed for renewable energy. Finally, in parallel, a regional program, “Jiha Tinou” is conducted for each region to adopt policy on energy efficiency. It aims to encourage local initiatives while promoting the implementation of the national energy strategy in the territories and communities of the Kingdom.
The International Energy Agency also tells us that, in OECD countries, energy efficiency measures would reduce demand growth to 60% of what it would have been otherwise. Hence, whenever major energy generation projects are launched in the South, it is essential that accompanying energy efficiency policies be established in conjunction. In parallel, we must remember that fossil fuel subsidies reached almost $500 billion in 2014. This is a huge sum that should instead be used to support energy efficiency policies. At COP22 in Marrakech, an international initiative for energy efficiency, equivalent to those dedicated to renewable energy, will be presented. Its objective is detailed in this work. It is necessary that the COPs finally put their weight behind the energy efficiency sector. Finally, energy policy must be internally consistent; promoting energy efficiency requires ending fossil fuel subsidies; in their place, we should be establishing support for the most disadvantaged social groups to be equipped with energy-efficiency technologies, which require less energy though can be capital-intensive.
Said Mouline, CEO of the Moroccan agency for energy efficiency AMEE