In a context of post-pandemic economic crisis and soaring energy prices, investment in renewable energies is no longer a luxury but a necessity for manufacturers in general and exporters in particular. A discussion meeting focused on the technical and financial solutions available.
The Moroccan Association of Exporters recently organized a meeting-debate entitled “Solar photovoltaic at the service of the decarbonization of export industries”, in partnership with the Banque Populaire and Adiwatt.
The objective of this meeting was to present photovoltaic solar energy to exporters as a concrete solution to improve their competitiveness through the reduction of production costs and carbon emissions. Hakim Marrakchi, Vice-President of ASMEX and CEO of Maghreb Industries, highlighted the importance of such an approach and shared his company’s experience with green energy as a solution to the demands of the international market.
“Today, it is no longer enough to reduce energy consumption, but to find viable solutions over the long and medium terms because the price of energy is soaring (…). The strategic orientation of the Kingdom towards a green economy encourages all manufacturers to adopt the right reflexes and to move towards ecological, sustainable and optimal solutions. This is essential to position the national exportable offer on the international market in general and the European market in particular”, declared Hakim Marrakchi, vice-president of ASMEX.
Industrial decarbonization: what really changes for Moroccan exporters
During this meeting, experts and specialists followed one another to share their experiences and give indications on the development of the carbon balance and the decarbonization plan, reveal some key elements for the success of the solar photovoltaic project or even the solutions of financing made available to manufacturers in terms of the electricity mix.
In this regard, moreover, Mohamed Amimi, Executive Director of the SME market at Banque Populaire, spoke about the financial support formulas put in place and from which several hundred companies already benefit: “The Banque Populaire supports all companies, to take this step as part of its CSR strategy.
A commitment that can be defined by the financing of major projects relating to renewable energies, the issuance of Green Bonds intended to refinance Moroccan renewable energy projects, the assessment of the environmental impact of each investment loan in upstream of the examination by the Credit Committee, to finally set up a complete system aimed at supporting companies in their energy efficiency approach through adapted financing offers”.
To detail the important stages of the transition to green energy, Fatima Zahra El Khalifa, General Manager of the Solar Cluster, Mohamed Adnane Berbache representing Ucotra Consulting, Meriem Berrada Elmandjra VP business development at ADIWATT Africa and Habib Benaddi, the technical director of the same company, presented solutions feasible at different costs and adaptable to the budgets and size of different companies.
Emphasis was placed in particular on the return on investment estimated after 4 or 5 years, for a lifespan of the photovoltaic solar panels, which can go up to 25 years.
The feasibility of the project goes through six essential steps:
- Tailor-made study: Sizing based on a field audit, consumption profile, surface areas and types of spaces available and their load capacities as well as geolocation. Quantified and argued study (power, details, profitability, etc.).
- Funding: Choice of whether or not to carry the investment and search for financing
- Supply and installation: Supply of panels, inverters, structures to be evaluated on the basis of criteria of quality, performance, guarantees, eligibility for financing and subsidies. Assembly work of electrical cabinets, installation of structures, cabling, etc.
- Commissioning: For a successful commissioning, the technical team carries out tests and carries out final checks on site.
- Maintenance : To sustain an installation, preventive and curative maintenance is essential, hence the importance of a partner committed over the long term with appropriate teams and technical resources.
- Supervision : Need for a digital solution to remotely supervise the solar power plant and allows real-time, on-site and remote display of the performance of the power plant (electricity production and consumption, CO2 emissions avoided, alarms, etc.).
Beyond environmental protection, decarbonizing today guarantees exporting companies the profitability of their industry and its sustainability, since they are committed to the international dynamic in favor of the climate.
“The carbon footprint of photovoltaics is 8 times smaller than that of grid electricity. A photovoltaic system emits on average 55 g of CO2 equivalent per kWh produced, while the average of the Moroccan electricity mix (estimated) is 72 g, and that of the global mix of 430 g”, underlined Meriem Berrada Elmandjra of ADIWATT Africa. .