The « deep misunderstandings » between Rabat and Berlin, notably over the Sahara, are still not dispelled. The Moroccan authorities have suspended the cooperation agreement, signed in July 2020 between Morocco and Germany, for the development of the green hydrogen production sector and the implementation of research and investment projects in the use of this material.
The diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Germany has shattered the agreement between the two countries on green hydrogen. The revocation of this agreement « would have a direct impact on Germany’s energy neutrality plan after it set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030, » reports Atalayar, noting that this decision has reached the German Bundestag. Members of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) have questioned the significance of this move for energy issues.
Reacting to the decision, the German Foreign Ministry said that « the German-Moroccan hydrogen alliance is based on a long and successful cooperation and energy partnership, which continues to be of mutual interest from the point of view of the Federal Government, but is being put to the test due to current political developments ».
Morocco and Germany have agreed in principle to two new projects. The first is the « Power-to-X » project. It aims to develop the production of green hydrogen. It was proposed by the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (Masen). The second concerns knowledge transfer and capacity building in association with the Institute for Research on Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN).
« Fuelling a hostile context against Morocco affecting green hydrogen projects is not in Germany’s interest, » said Christoph Hoffmann, the Liberal Democrat Party’s spokesperson for development policy. As for the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, he deemed it necessary to go to Morocco to ease tensions.
It should be noted that friction points with Morocco have arisen from Germany’s position on the Western Sahara, its interference in Morocco’s internal affairs, Rabat’s sidelining of negotiations on the future of Libya at a conference held in Berlin in January 2020, and the recent Transparency International report on corruption.