The Rt Hon Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero comments on the Morocco-UK Power Project.

June 6, 2024

Yesterday, at the 2024 Morocco Investment Forum we heard from The Rt Hon Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero who opened the forum and gave the following opening remarks:

“Make no mistake, we are in a global race for energy. The growth in demand from emerging economies is soaring. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 600 million people with no access to electricity at all. That will change in the decades ahead, and rightly so. And we can look to Asia, where the construction of renewable energy infrastructure and demand for fossil fuels is breaking records.

“When it comes to energy and its supply chains, we need to be realistic about each sources strengths and also its weaknesses. Which is why allies and partners across the world must come together to make sure that we don’t just wean ourselves of Russian oil & gas, only to become dependent on other parts of the world for critical minerals.

“There is a clear partnership here between our great nations. The United Kingdom, long known for our innovation ecosystem; as home to the rule of law; world-leading universities; deep capital markets; and strong protections for intellectual property. And Morocco, a source of solutions to global challenges like energy security; a hot bed of new ideas and huge energy potential.

“It is a show of strength that our trading relationship stands at an all-time high […] and thanks to the UK-Morocco Association Agreement, this is set to grow even further.

“And energy can, and will, be a significant part of that relationship. That’s why I’m so optimistic about what we can do together. Take the example of Xlinks, a sub-sea cable connecting Morocco to the South West of England. One of my first actions as Secretary of State was to designate it as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

“Xlinks could supply 8% of our electricity needs, powering over 7m British homes, with electricity generated 4,000 km away by solar farms and wind turbines in Morocco.

“If it succeeds, it could be the foundation of our great energy future together. Because, together, we have all the ingredients we need to achieve our shared ambition of cheap, secure energy. We’ve got the skills, the investment, the infrastructure, and, of course, the innovators.

“And that’s why I believe the alliance between our countries is so important because, united, we can play our parts in these global challenges and also reap the rewards of global opportunities.”


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