Focus.  The priority projects of the National Electricity Regulatory Authority

Focus. The priority projects of the National Electricity Regulatory Authority

The National Electricity Regulatory Authority (ANRE) was established as part of the gradual liberalization of the market for the production of electricity from renewable sources, with the aim of providing greater transparency, guaranteeing access to information and investment opportunities, and to ensure non-discrimination in the access of private producers, national or international, to the network.

Two years after its effective launch, ANRE is gradually beginning to play its regulatory rolein a market called upon to restructure to meet the needs of the reform of the national electricity system, and the challenges that Morocco has set itself in terms of energy transition.

Médias24 met its president, Abdellatif Bardach, on the sidelines of the conference organized on June 23 as part of the assembly of the Association of Energy Regulators of the Mediterranean Basin (MEDREG). He tells us more about ANRE’s achievements, projects and prospects.

The publication of the network code

From its start, ANRE’s priority was to publish the National Transmission Electricity Network Code (CRENT). This has now been done, since its entry into force at the start of 2022. These are very clear technical specifications intended for developers (investors in electricity production).

More commonly known as the “network code” or “grid code”, it was prepared by the transmission system operator (GRT), i.e. the National Office for Electricity and Water (ONEE ), before being reviewed and validated by ANRE within the framework of consultations with national private developers.

The aim is to provide the necessary transparency to guarantee private developers’ access to the TSO’s network, explains Abdellatif Bardach. This will avoid any discrimination and will contribute to making Morocco more attractive as a destination in terms of investment in renewable energies.

Other projects are underway

ANRE is currently working on setting the network access tariff. This is this year’s priority project, emphasizes Abdellatif Bardach. It depends on another shipyard, that of accounting separation. The latter consists, for ONEE, of separating its transmission activities from its production and distribution activities.

The aim here is to ensure a equity between all actorsso that ONEE can treat, on the same footing, the activities of developers and its own production activities.

On the other hand, ANRE is working on the development of multilateral and bilateral cooperation. The challenge is to prepare the ground for ONEE to further ensure the integration of the Moroccan network into the electricity networks of partner countries. It is within this framework that Abdellatif Bardach took the vice-presidency of MEDREG.

ANRE, which can act as a driving force, also plans to help regulate the electrical storage, essential to enable this energy transition and offer more flexibility to the Moroccan electricity system. It also plans to make amendments to Law 48-15 to extend ANRE’s prerogatives to natural gas.

ANRE, guarantor of the proper functioning of the market

In addition, ANRE is working on a project to definequality indicators for the sector. It sets itself the objective of ensuring the proper functioning of the market, both for consumers and for producers and network operators.

In view of the gradual liberalization of the Moroccan electricity market, ANRE wants to contribute to finding a certain balance between the different actorsso that everyone can benefit from it, including ONEE, which must regain its economic viability.

If ANRE is currently focusing on the relationship between developers and the TSO, it is because the priority is to attract more private investors at the production level. At the same time, it will have to tackle the distribution sector, in particular with the reform which provides for the establishment of Multi-service regional companies in the twelve regions of the Kingdom.

Governance authorities

ANRE was created following the promulgation, in July 2016, of the Law 48-15 relating to the regulation of the electricity sector and the creation of the ANRE. It only came into force in April 2021.

In August 2018, Abdellatif Bardach was appointed by the King to the presidency of ANRE. As for the members of the board, they were not appointed until two years later, in August 2020. It is from this date, once the governance bodies were constituted, including the dispute resolution committee , that the real work could begin, with the holding of the first council in October 2020.

Efforts had already been made before to structure and set up various procedures, and to give this new public structure national and international visibility, concludes Abdellatif Bardach.

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