100% RE and SDGs

Sustainable development can only be reached by transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy (RE). In fact, 100% RE is more than just replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources in today’s energy system. It can serve as a mean for socioeconomic development and help create a just society for today’s and future generations. Hereby, it supports the implementation of each sustainable development goal. You want to know how? Let´s have a look.

To end poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG1), reduce vulnerabilities and ensure equal opportunities to economic resources, the access to energy is a prerequisite. Access to modern energy services is regarded as a prerequisite for a life of dignity. This applies to substantive human rights such as access to clean water (SDG6), good nutrition (SDG2), health (SGD3), safe shelter (SDG11) and education (SDG4).

This is why SDG 7 urges us to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. This means nothing less than implementing 100% Renewable Energy. It embraces the necessary paradigm shift and is the fastest, cheapest and indeed only way to “leave no one behind”.


100% Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development

This paper describes the vital relationship between renewable energy (RE) and sustainable development. In particular, it demonstrates how supporting the transition to 100% RE is both a necessary condition and a driver for sustainable development that leaves no one behind.


Producing energy from natural powers such as sun and wind is possible everywhere. Their modular and decentralized nature allows for great flexibility. Even the smallest communities can have a small solar system installed or an off-grid mini-grid and gain control over their own energy supply, without the need to abide to large corporations in charge of large, centralized energy distribution. In big cities, renewables can provide basic services such as reliable electricity for vulnerable people living in slums and clean fuel to reduce air pollution (SDG11 & 3). Hereby renewable energies reduce inequalities (SDG 10), especially between urban and rural population. They allow paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations, especially women and children who suffer most from insufficient basic service in their homes (SDG5). A 100% RE approach enables all countries to depend only on the most equitably distributed energy of all: abundant and clean renewable energy, distributed within their own borders, close to their communities and accessible by everyone.

To ensure access to water and sanitation for all (SDG6), “water-friendly” technologies from a life-cycle perspective are essential. Solar PV or wind could withdraw up to 200 times less water than a coal power plant to produce the same amount of electricity. Further, renewables are the most resilient and low cost option to access, treat and pump water especially in hot, dry regions. And here, we haven’t even touched upon the impact of fossil fuel extraction and transportation on the quality of water resources, the health of aquatic ecosystems and climate change. Clean water is also essential to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition as well as promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2).

Transforming our energy system to 100% RE allows the reduction of air pollution and brings down harmful emissions that cause diseases and climate change (SDG 13). Renewables therefore enhance health and well-being for millions of people (SDG3) who need treatment and cooled medication in hospitals and rural health centres, suffer from air pollution caused by the transport sector or coal-fired plants or those women and children who cook on charcoal and suffer from indoor smoke (SDG5). With fossil fuels being a major driver of global warming, reaching 100% RE as soon as possible is a prerequisite to limit it to 1.5C degrees (SDG13).

“100 % Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development “:

a film by Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova 

Already today, renewables are the cheapest option for electricity production in many regions across the world, especially in isolated places. Thanks to falling prices for the equipment, the fact that wind and sun is for free and therefore renewables have practically zero marginal costs but also thanks to fact that renewables have no external costs, renewables are the most competitive source to produce energy. This is crucial to provide energy to all (SDG7), eradicate poverty (SDG1), achieve decent work for all (SDG8) as well as build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG9).

Renewable Energies can be installed, managed and owned by everybody. Hereby, 100% RE is also an opportunity to enhance procedural rights such as inclusive participation and access to information for of all (SDG1, 4, 5, 10). Further this means that, with the right finance mechanism, every citizen and community can not only benefit from energy services (for SDG 3,4,6 and 7) but also from becoming an energy producer and hereby drive innovative business models (SDG8&9). Implementing 100% RE can therefore unleash opportunities especially for entrepreneurs and build up new industries (SDG9). Thanks to their decentralised character, renewables create diverse and good quality job and income opportunities in every country in urban as well as in rural areas. Therefore they “leave no one behind”. In fact, renewables create more jobs per unit of energy than any other energy source (SDG 8).



SDGs & 100% Renewables Gallery



As renewables technologies produce energy from abundantly available resources used in efficient and often smart infrastructures, a 100% RE approach ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12). Using renewable electricity also for cooking, we could decrease the ecological burden on our ecosystem caused by unsustainable use of biomass. Also expanding use of biogas from organic waste helps achieving the reduction of waste, in particular food waste.

By transitioning to 100% RE, we could mitigate ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as they are heavily impacted by oil and gas exploration and nuclear energy production (SDG14). The same is true for life on land (SDG15). A major and rapid uptake of RE is the only sustainable solution to limit the increasing effects of climate change on the ecosystems and biodiversity, whose delicate equilibrium is greatly disrupted even by the smallest changes in average temperature. Further, ecosystem disturbance and degradation resulting from direct or indirect effects of extraction can be stopped by adopting a 100% RE approach. Renewables have the least life-cycle ecological impact per kWh of energy produced.

Finally, a world powered with 100% RE would be a more peaceful, secure and fair place for all (SDG16). While there are certainly diverse causes for the existence of conflicts, many of them are connected to access to fossil fuel resources and infrastructure. By transitioning to 100% RE, countries, islands cities and communities can improve their energy autonomy and break free from oil, gas, coal and uranium imports which often cause geopolitical tensions or armed conflicts. As many communities across the world show, transitioning to 100% RE can also support better institutions and governance structures through what is known as energy democracy. Renewables provide the chance for all people to engage and benefit from energy as a common good (SDG10). They hereby help to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions and broaden and strengthen participation (SDG16).

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

RE development requires strong cross-sectoral, transregional and transnational partnerships as well as a continuous exchange of solutions, best practises and lesson learnt. In fact, the effective and rapid implementation of a 100% RE target depends on a strong collaboration between local actors and other regional, national and international stakeholders and governments. Therefore, strengthening renewable energy partnerships (SDG17) goes hand in hand with improving the partnerships necessary for the implementation of the SDGs.

The wide-range of co-benefits linked to RE development reveal once again the strong interdependency among all aspects of sustainable development. In light of the vast benefits related to RE development and its instrumental role in supporting sustainable development, it becomes essential that policy makers and development organizations embrace the 100% RE message and integrate a 100% strategy into their development plans. The key policy recommendations to achieve this are:

  1. Set a 100% RE target and embed it across policy areas and in SDG processes
  2. Set a “leave no one behind” approach to energy policy
  3. Ensure adequate civil society participation and capacity building
  4. Enhance renewable energy in the cooking sector
  5. Prioritize energy efficiency
  6. Use fossil subsidies for funding
  7. Strengthen change agents and pioneers

The climate cost of 100% renewable energy

At the COP 21 in Paris, the international community agreed on an agenda to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5°C. On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. For a likely chance to stay below a rise of 1.5C, we have to reach zero emissions by 2050.

SHAPING THE FUTURE FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

114 renewable energy experts from around the world share their views on achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050

More than 70% of the experts interviewed for the new REN21 Global Future Report consider a global transition to 100% renewable energy to be both feasible and realistic. Especially European and Australian experts most strongly support this view. There is an overwhelming consensus that renewable power will dominate in the future, with many noting that even large international corporations are increasingly choosing renewable energy products either from utilities or through direct investment in their own generating capacity. In fact, the report highlights as well that numerous companies, regions, islands and cities have set 100% renewable energy targets already, proving that it is a matter of political will. Nearly 70% of those interviewed expect the cost of renewables to continue to fall, beating all fossil fuels within 10 years’ time. Wind and solar photovoltaic are in fact already cost-competitive with new conventional generation in most OECD countries. Countries as diverse as China and Denmark are demonstrating that GDP growth can be decoupled from increasing energy consumption. Read more

No more delays: Transition to 100% Renewable Energy now

APPEAL

While the cost of renewable energy is decreasing; technologies are advancing rapidly – Now is the time to set the course for a rapid conversion of our energy supply towards 100% renewables, especially in Germany. This is the only way to ensure the implementation of the goals agreed at the Paris Convention, setting the existentially important objectives for global climate protection. The deliberate slowdown of renewable energy must end.

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After COP22, Morocco to implement 100% RE

Last Friday, 48 countries committed to “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”. These 48 countries are among the most vulnerable countries and are united as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). With their declaration, these countries prove unique leadership at the end of COP22, keeping up to their promise to take action. This is probably the most important outcome of the Climate Conference in Marrakesh.

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20% using solar energy, 20% wind and 12% hydro.

Morocco, the host country of COP22, is one of them. Over the past months and years, the World Future Council has worked with several stakeholders in the country, developing a policy roadmap to transition to 100% Renewable Energy. With last week´s declaration, this roadmap can now serve as a guidance for the new government to go faster and further and walk the talk.

A quick look back

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20 % using solar energy, 20 % wind and 12 % hydro. To reach this goal, the country will develop additional electricity production capacity between 2016 and 2030 of around 10,000MW in renewable energies of which 4,560MW solar, 4,200MW wind and 1,330MW hydro.

These targets are anchored in a three-pronged strategy developed by the government to liberalise and boost the renewable energy sector in Morocco:

  • Legal framework: Renewable Energy is subject of a diversified portfolio of solar, wind and hydro anchored in a legislative framework, notably Law nº 13-09, promulgated in 2010 to liberalise and develop the RE sector in Morocco.
  • Institutional building: the progressive liberalisation of the energy sector has been accompanied by the establishment of institutions to take up the challenges of the energy transition, amongst which: MASEN, ADEREE, SIE, IRESEN.
  • Subsidies reform: in 2013, the government of Morocco announced the reform of fossil fuel subsidies. Since 1st December 2015, the prices of fuels obey the free play of supply and demand. Only the price of butane continues to be subsidised.

cop2_infogr_enPolicy changes resulted in success

The remodelling of the legal, institutional and financial framework has noticeably helped achieved impressive results in the diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects taking place in Morocco. A well-known example is Noor Ouarzazate, the first solar mega-project launched by the Moroccan solar energy agency (MASEN), will reach a total capacity of 580MW by 2018 and will bring power to 1.1 million people (learn more about it here). Or the Tarfaya’s wind park, with a production potential of 1,084GWh/year, is already supplying 1.5 million households and has become Africa’s largest wind energy project. The park has contributed to the creation of new road installations and equipment, and it has become a source of additional income for local communities by means of the business tax, apart from the development of local skills and capacities relating to wind energy.

Indeed, in Morocco renewable energy is not only a very important factor for the environment and the production of goods and services, but a key development vector as the following figures show:

  • Wind projects can save $750 million and 5.6 million tons in emissions a year.
  • Solar projects will save $500 million and 3.7 million tons in emissions a year.
  • The 850MW wind energy project foresees a 70% industrial integration.
  • 13,300 jobs can be created by 2020.

And a closer look to Morocco’s wind and solar projects’ prices highlights the attractiveness of the country’s renewable energy plan. For instance, the country secured bid of Dh 0.72 (US$0.07 cents/Kwh) for the Tarfaya project and in 2016 set a new low for the Integrated Wind Project, securing a price of Dh 0.31 (US$ 0.03 cents/Kwh). This is well below the fuel fossils import price of 0.97 Dh (US$ 0.09 / Kwh) paid during the last ten years. Even for solar projects the price was also much lower than expected by MASEN, at Dh 1,5 (US$ 0.15 cents/KWh) for the first phase of the projects (NoorO I) and at Dh 1.4 (US$ 0.14 / KWh) for NoorO II and NoorO III.

Nevertheless, Morocco must go further and faster

If Morocco wants to solve the following challenges, it needs to go beyond current efforts:

  • Morocco will have to cope with a growing electricity demand that has been increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last 10 years.
  • Climate change will increase its temperatures by 0.5- 1ºC by 2020 and by 1-1.5ºC by 2050 and 2080.
  • The country is currently dependent on fossil fuel. 95% of its consumption is imported, taking 10-12% of its GDP from the national budget.
  • Morocco has to capitalise its renewable energy potential: solar resources are equivalent to 20,000MW and wind potential to 25,000MW.

Because despite the avant-garde energy policy, a number of challenges remain in the way for unleashing Morocco’s incredible renewable energy potential. During round tables and interactive dialogues facilitated by the World Future Council, Moroccan policy-makers, experts and practitioners have identified numerous actions to set Morocco on a path to 100% Renewable Energy, foremost to prioritise renewable sources in the energy system and enable new actors to enter the market – both from a legislative as well as from a capacity perspective. This can only be achieved with a comprehensive approach (see infographic above).

The World Future Council congratulates Morocco for its leadership during COP22 and is committed to support the country in walking the talk.

To learn more about Morocco’s energy situation and potential pathways as well as to explore the proposed actions, read the following report:



A roadmap for 100% RE in Morocco

Morocco, COP22 host country, has since 2009 prioritised renewable energies and energy efficiency. Aware of the nature of the opportunities and stakes confronting its energy landscape, the nation has mobilised to share the message about the urgency and advisability of changing the pathway.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy challenge, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society. The round tables and conversations we organised between 2014 and 2016 are reflected in this report. We also highlight solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.

48 most vulnerable countries lead the 100% Renewables movement

The energy revolution is happening. The World Future Council applauds the 48 most vulnerable countries who today adopted the strongest declaration for Climate Action to this day. The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) – a coalition of 48 countries from Asia, Africa, Caribbean, the Pacific and South America – declared in Marrakesh that they “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”.

Cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.

The Climate Conference in Marrakesh was announced by the Moroccan presidency as “a COP of Action”. And indeed, it is the most vulnerable countries of this planet who keep this promise, making the urgently needed step to go beyond current pathways.

Climate Vulnerable Former-Forum Chair, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that climate action and decarbonisation is set to boost CVF countries’ economies by creating jobs in the renewable energy sector. With this, developing countries lead the way from talking to action, showing that climate action does not limit development but it strengthens it. Ministers and heads of delegations of member countries convened today for the Forum’s 2016 High Level Meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference at Marrakesh (UNFCCC COP22). The Forum adopted the Marrakech Communique and the Marrakech Vision. The Communique called for greater ambition emphasising that any country with an NDC not yet compliant with its fair share consistent with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal must update contributions by 2020 at the latest. It also called on honouring commitments, investing in climate finance and the need to transform market place.

“Today’s declaration of 48 national governments to go 100% Renewable Energy signals the urgently needed political leadership. Industrialised countries must follow this example to put the world on track for a just and sustainable energy system for all.” says Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy, World Future Council. “The good news is that cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.”

The World Future Council has been working with several countries of the CVF, including Morocco and Tanzania in the past years in supporting their transition to 100% Renewable Energy.

“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.” H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands.

Dipal C. Barua, WFC Councilor from Bangladesh adds: “Bangladesh has shown how renewable energy tackles energy poverty. With today’s commitment to move to 100% Renewable Energy domestically, the government, in coalition with the most vulnerable countries, builds on this success and allows future generations a decent life on this planet.”

Doto Biteko, Chair for Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals, Tanzania “With today’s declaration, Tanzania proves leadership in bringing electricity to all citizens. By visiting other countries, I have learnt in the past months that renewable energy can overcome poverty and improve people’s livelihoods. I therefore welcome Tanzania’s commitment to join the other most vulnerable countries in going to 100% Renewable Energy to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”

H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands said that this is a turning point in climate leadership and transformation that is bound to secure a safer future for vulnerable communities. Minister Zackhras added: “We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.”

“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy, all parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.” adds H.E. Mr. Edgar Gutierrez, Hon. Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, highlighting that meeting the 1.5C target requires an immediate sense of urgency from all parties.

International leaders incl. the UNFCCC Secretary General Patricia Espinosa, Former US Vice President Al Gore and European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, welcome the CVF declaration.

“The announcement today by 48 national governments to use renewables to meet all their energy needs demonstrates true commitment to the 1.5 degree target. This commitment can only accelerate the developments we are already seeing both in the market and investment sectors. Renewables are unstoppable!”, says Laura Williamson from REN21.

Beyond Fire: New Report Suggests a Complete Rethink of the Future Path towards Sustainable Cooking in the Global South

Press release – for immediate release

Hamburg/Marrakech, Nov 15th, 2016: The role of renewable electricity for the cooking sector in the Global South has been widely underestimated. As the costs of Renewable Energy technologies continue to decline, cleaner and more modern technologies represent an entirely new pathway towards sustainable cooking in developing countries. These are the findings of the new report ‘Beyond Fire’ launched today by the international foundations World Future Council and Hivos at the UNFCCC climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Read more

100% Renewable Energy a must for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees

Press release – for immediate release

Marrakech 14th November: With the UN Climate Summit in Marrakech starting its final week, all major non-state actor groups join forces, urging national governments to implement policies towards 100% Renewable Energy. United under the umbrella of the Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign, cities, NGOs, Renewable Energy Industry Associations and academics from across the world highlight that implementing the Paris Agreement means phasing out fossil fuels and investing in a 100% Renewable Energy infrastructure immediately. At a High-Level Event tomorrow in Marrakech, leaders from this global 100% RE movement demonstrate the benefits, moral imperative, technical and financial feasibility of the just transition to a world fully powered by renewables.

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The New Urban Agenda: More Power to Cities? Yes, but how?

Only within the last 16 months, the world has seen the emergence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Paris agreement (which has just recently come into force), and the so-called New Urban Agenda (NUA). All three of them represent bold and (more or less) legally binding agreements by the Member States of the United Nations. The New Urban Agenda should be the most concrete and practical one since it addresses the smaller scale of government, i.e. cities – the place where we will win or lose our struggle for a more just, equitable and indeed sustainable world.

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A Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy in Morocco

The development and promotion of renewable energies have become central topics for Morocco, the host country of COP22.

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030.

Currently, renewable energies are the subject of a diversified portfolio for solar, wind and hydro anchored in a legislative framework, notably Law n. 13-09 on renewable energies to liberalise and develop the renewable energy sector in Morocco.

Morocco can go further and faster. Morocco still imports 95% of domestic consumption. The country faces a growing electricity demand increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last ten years. And forecasts for Morocco see an increase in temperatures of 0.5 to 1°C by 2020 and 1 to 1.5°C by 2050 and 2080. Rainfall could decline by 30% between now and the end of the century.

The progressive liberalisation of the energy sector has been accompanied by the establishment of institutions to take up the challenges of the energy transition, amongst which: MASEN, ADEREE, SIE, IRESEN.

Further, in 2013, the government of Morocco announced the reform of fossil fuel subsidies, which cost 5% of its GDP. Since 1st December 2015, the prices of fuels obey the free play of supply and demand. Only the price of butane continues to be subsidised.

In this RE development, advantages are beginning to be shared by society as a whole. For example in NOOR Ouarzazate, the first project launched by the Moroccan solar energy agency (MASEN), covering 3,000 hectares with a total capacity of 580MW by 2018, Moroccan companies contributed « almost one-third of the value of the plant, supplying metallurgical, cabling, construction and public works components or services ». This generated 2,000 jobs of which 40% in the region.

Nevertheless, Morocco can go further and faster. Morocco still imports 95% of domestic consumption. The country faces a growing electricity demand increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last ten years. And forecasts for Morocco see an increase in temperatures of 0.5 to 1°C by 2020 and 1 to 1.5°C by 2050 and 2080. Rainfall could decline by 30% between now and the end of the century.

Today, there remain a good number of political, economic, technical and cultural obstacles which stand in the way or slow down the transition towards a 100% renewable energy system. Moreover, the majority of actions are concentrated on the electricity sector, neglecting the heating and cooling as well as the transport sector.

To move towards a 100% renewable energy system offers the opportunity to change this reality. The challenge for the country is not so much a lack of energy resources but to fundamentally transform the way in which the energy system is structured.

Today, there remain a good number of political, economic, technical and cultural obstacles which stand in the way or slow down the transition towards a 100% renewable energy system. Moreover, the majority of actions are concentrated on the electricity sector, neglecting the heating and cooling as well as the transport sector.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy transition in Morocco, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society.

In this spirit, parliamentary hearings, conversations, and roundtables were organised between 2014 and 2016, guided by the following questions:

  • Morocco’s current energy context: challenges, renewable energies potential and energy strategy
  • Morocco’s leading renewable energy projects: main features, total installed power, production capacity, estimated cost, financing and entry into service dates.
  • Socio-economic benefits of renewable energies in Morocco: challenges being addressed up by renewable energy projects.
  • Guidelines for energy transitions: legislative, institutional and economic reforms.
  • Principal challenges for deployment of renewable energies in Morocco: political, economic, technical and cultural.
  • Recommendations to guarantee a successful energy transition for Morocco.

Overall, the goal has been the to identify the solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.



A roadmap for 100% RE in Morocco

Morocco, COP22 host country, has since 2009 prioritised renewable energies and energy efficiency. Aware of the nature of the opportunities and stakes confronting its energy landscape, the nation has mobilised to share the message about the urgency and advisability of changing the pathway.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy challenge, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society. The round tables and conversations we organised between 2014 and 2016 are reflected in this report. We also highlight solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.