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Energy from sunlight: New project starts in Morocco

Using the sun’s energy efficiently is a key factor for the success of the Moroccan photovoltaic sector. The aim of PTB’s new project called Strengthening the quality infrastructure for photovoltaics, launched last year, is to ensure that quality infrastructure services are able to strengthen the existing capacities for solar energy use in line with national needs. The first official trip since the project’s start took place in Morocco from 5-14 April 2022. Following the resolution of a diplomatic crisis, the project team was finally able to meet representatives from the partner institutions personally and to solidify the foundation for joint efforts. In the future, the concrete needs for quality infrastructure services will be determined, and the framework conditions will be improved within the scope of the project. This work will provide the basis for the selection of services that are to be improved and developed.

“We were warmly welcomed in Morocco. Our partners gave us the feeling that they were really looking forward to working with PTB. Our visit was a great starting point for our project work”, says Iris Nadolny, project coordinator. The Moroccan Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the standardization institute IMANOR (Institut Marocain de Normalisation), three laboratories – AMEE (Agence Marocaine pour l’Efficacité Energétique), IRESEN (L’Institut de Recherche en Énergie Solaire et Énergies Nouvelles) and LPEE (Laboratoire Public d’Essais et d’Etudes) – as well as the solar energy associations AMISOLE and Cluster Solaire are involved in the project.

Warm welcome during the visit of the Moroccan standardization institute IMANOR. © PTB
Warm welcome during the visit of the Moroccan standardization institute IMANOR. © PTB

The focus of the meetings with the partner institutions was on getting to know each other, building relationships, and project strategy agreement. The programme also included a visit to the General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Mohamed Benyahia, as well as to the German Embassy in Rabat. “I was very pleased that Bouchra El Moumane, the representative of the Ministry of Energy Transition, was present at all of the partner meetings in Rabat. That is a wonderful sign, and it shows how dedicated our political partner is”, states Iris Nadolny.

It came as quite a surprise that it was possible to hold the planning workshop as an in-person event during the official trip. This event took place in Morocco on 14 April 2022 and was organized and implemented on short notice at the request of the partners. All of the partner institutions participated in the workshop. “It is extremely beneficial to include our partners from all levels every step of the way and to jointly plan our next steps with them.” The project team also met with local representatives of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Discussing the important developments in the photovoltaic sector and presenting PTB’s project were the main topics.

The participants of the planning workshop. © PTB
The participants of the planning workshop. © PTB

A Calidena workshop lasting several days takes place in Morocco at the end of May. Calidena is a participative analysis and processing method for quality topics in value chains that was developed by PTB with its partners. All of the invited stakeholders stemming from the photovoltaic value chain will be able to jointly identify needs and draft plans to close the existing gaps during the workshop. “At the workshop we will explore how quality can contribute to improving the sector. The Calidena workshop is a valuable opportunity for us to work together intensively and to create a type of network”, says Iris Nadolny in closing. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and has a total budget of 1.3 million euros.

Image © Sabena Jane Blackbird / Alamy Stock Photo