Introduction

    The development of renewable energies is at the heart of the national energy policy which calls for a diversification of energy sources by 2020 with 42% of the total electric power installed provided by green energies.

    Energy efficiency along with the development of renewable energy is a priority of the national energy strategy: the aim is to save 12% of energy consumption by 2020 and 15% by 2030. With this in mind, action plans for energy efficiency were implemented in all key sectors, particularly transport, industry and construction.

    Given the huge potential for renewable energy (solar and wind) available to Morocco, the building of a diversified energy mix benefiting renewable energy has been planned in order to satisfy growing electricity demand, preserve the environment, and reduce dependence on energy from other countries.

    To meet these challenges Morocco has launched a very large scale integrated programme for producing electricity from renewable energy sources. This is one of the largest projects in the world, aiming at a total capacity of 4,000 MW by 2020, thanks to the construction of new wind farms and the construction of five solar power plants.

    This integrated and structuring project is a lever for economic and human development (competitiveness, training, research and development, subcontracting, industrial integration). The fulfilment of these projects is an opportunity to generate and develop an industry around renewable energy and energy efficiency, to support these programmes and maximize socio-economic benefits.

    Professional associations of the sector:

    National Federation of Electricity, Electronics and Renewable Energies (FENELEC) (www.fenelec.com)

    Moroccan Association of Solar Industries and Windmills (www.amisole.com)

    Main companies of the sector:

    DROBEN MAROC, CLEANERGY MAROC, DELATTRE LEVIVIER MAROC (DLM), DELTA HOLDING, JET ALU MAROC

Assistance and support

    1. Support for the sector’s ecosystems

    Appropriate and targeted support is provided to companies in the ecosystems regarding finance, industrial land and training.

    The Industrial Development Fund (FDI), operational since 1 January 2015, allocates 3 billion dirhams per year for the period 2014-2120 to ecosystem companies to enable them to realize their ambitions in upgrading, development and internationalization.

    State support is also backed up with integrated and competitive bank financing.

    The ecosystem companies can also:

    • Have access to quality industrial land thanks to the innovative concept of industrial rental parks;
    • Benefit their employees through relevant staff training courses.

    2. Investment Promotion Fund (FPI)

    Under the Investment Charter, the FPI offers partial coverage by the Government of certain expenses related to the acquisition of property (up to 20% of the cost of land), external infrastructure (up to 5% of the total amount of the investment programme, or 10% in the case of an investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing) and vocational training (up to 20% of the cost of the training).

    These contributions may be combined as long as the total contribution of the state does not exceed 5% of the total investment programme; or 10% in the case of investment in the sector of spinning, weaving or finishing; or when the investment project is located in a suburban or rural area.

    Eligibility criteria:

    The investment project must meet at least one of the following five criteria:

    • Represent an amount of 200 million dirhams or more over a 3-year period;
    • To be located in one of the provinces or prefectures mentioned in Decree No. 2-98-520 dated 5 Rabii I 1419 (30 June 1998);
    • Create a minimum of 250 stable jobs over 3 years;
    • Provide technology transfer;
    • Contribute to the protection of the environment.

    3. Tax incentives

    Tax incentives are provided for by article 123-22°-a) of the General Tax Code and Article 7.1 of finance law No. 12-98 for the 1998/9 budget year as amended and supplemented by the following:

    • The exemption from import duty on capital equipment, materials and tools necessary for the implementation of an investment project with a total cost greater than 200 million dirhams during 36 months after the signing of the investment agreement; this exemption is extended to parts, replacement parts and accessories imported at the same time as the aforementioned equipment;
    • The exemption from VAT on imports of capital equipment, materials and tools necessary for the implementation of an investment project with a total cost greater than 200 million dirhams until 36 months after the start of activity by the company or from the date of issuance of the building permit, and which may be extended by six months in the event of force majeure (renewable once); this exemption is extended to parts, replacement parts and accessories imported at the same time as the aforementioned equipment.

    4. Support for SMEs

    SMEs in the sector may benefit from special support within the programmes developed by MAR0C PME:

    5. Free zone status

    A free trade zone (ZFE) is a specified area of land devoted to export activities for industrial purposes and related service activities. Each free zone is created and delimited by a decree that determines the nature and business activities that can be established there.

    The operational free trade zones are located at Tangier (Tanger Free Zone – TFZ and Tanger Automotive City – TAC), at Kenitra (Atlantic Free Zone – AFZ), at Casablanca (Midparc), at Rabat (Technopolis) and at Oujda (Technopole d’Oujda).

    To obtain free zone status under law No. 19-94, companies must have obtained authorization from the local commission of the free export zone, which is presided over by the wali or governor of the region, and must make at least 70% of their turnover from exports.

    Free zone status allows for the exemption of foreign trade and exchange controls, as well as access to the following state aid:

    Tax incentives resulting in:

    • Exemption from income tax (IR) during the first 5 years, and then a reduction of 80% of tax on gross earned income during the following 20 years;
    • Exemption from corporation tax (IS) for the first 5 years, and then a rate of 8.75% for the following 20 years;
    • Exemption from professional tax for the first 15 years;
    • Exemption from urban tax for the first 15 years;
    • Exemption from participation in national solidarity;
    • Exemption from tax on income from corporate rights, dividends and similar income for non-residents and a reduction in tax to 7.5% for residents;

    Customs benefits:

    • Exemption from import duties, and simplified customs procedures;
    • Unlimited exemption from value added tax in respect of products delivered and services supplied to the free export zones and from the subjected territory;

    Administrative facilitations:

    • Exemption from registration fees and stamp duty on instruments of incorporation or increases in the capital of the company, as well as on land acquisitions;
    • The establishment of a one-stop service to the investor.

Training

    The training of human resources is a strategic activity of the Industrial Acceleration Plan (IAP) 2014-2020. The availability and quality of human resources determine the attractiveness of Morocco as a destination, and increase the productivity and competitiveness of the companies.

    Amongst other things the strategy aims at providing the ecosystems in place with skilled profiles.

    The detailed mapping of training needs - with a quantification of the human resource requirements by sector, profile, region and year - and the identification of training opportunities available in Morocco are ongoing, which will enable the development of a national training plan.

    Training in the sector of renewable energies and energy efficiency is provided by specialist institutes: Training Institutes for Professions in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (IFMEREE).

    Dedicated training is being arranged in a number of establishments.

    The state contribution to the training of professions in the sector is granted in accordance with the corresponding manual of procedures, as stated in the following chart:

    State contribution related to trainings in the renewable energy sector.

    Level Contribution to training of new recruits (in dirhams) Contribution to in-service training (in dirhams)
    Operator 15.000 5.000
    Technician 20.000 10.000
    Engineer/Professional 40.000 20.000

    Consult the list of training needs for performance contracts signed by end - May 2017

Reception Infrastructure

    General and sectoral Integrated Industrial Platforms (P2I), possibly benefiting from the free zone status, guarantee the availability of property at an attractive price, comprehensive and diverse real-estate and logistics options conforming to the best international standards, as well as on-site services and a one stop shop for administration.

    In the framework of the Industrial Acceleration Plan, the Ministry plans for the mobilization of 1,000 hectares to create Integrated Industrial Rental Parks (PIL) with turnkey premises: each park will include a one stop shop for administration, a local job pool, ad hoc services and a training programme.