Western Sahara Resource Watch has today launched a report detailing how Morocco intends to build over 1000 MW (megawatts) of renewable energy plants in Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco partially occupies.
“These upcoming solar and wind projects, no matter how green, will be severely damaging for the people of Western Sahara. The energy produced will be used to capitalise on the resources already illegally being exploited by Morocco in Western Sahara, thereby intensifying the ongoing pillage. And by exporting the energy to the EU and to Morocco proper, the occupying power seeks to anchor its untenable claim over the territory”, stated Sara Eyckmans, coordinator of Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW).
Download the report ‘Dirty Green March’ here.
Morocco does not produce oil and gas itself, and its government hungers for energy. The report shows that the new front for solar and wind energy production will be in the territory that the Saharawi people fled from after the Moroccan military invasion in 1975, known as the Green March.
As of today, the energy production from solar and wind sources in Western Sahara constitutes at most 5.5 percent of Morocco’s total energy production from such sources. By 2020, however, the amount could be increased to an astonishing 26.4 percent, according to the new report.
Large international players in the green energy sector have so far caught the bait from the Moroccan government. Most companies mentioned in the report have not responded to questions regarding their plans. As of today, as the report is being launched, equipment for installing wind technology is being offloaded on the harbour of El Aaiun, Western Sahara.
Ever since the invasion, the Moroccan government has used the natural resources of Western Sahara as it pleases, in violation of international law. With the increased energy access, both the fisheries sector and extractive industries will be more lucrative. Through the plans, Morocco is furthermore connecting the territory it occupies to its own and Europe’s energy grid, a sly political move.
The legal owner of the land, the Saharawi people, has not consented to the Moroccan plans, therefore the plans are in violation of a key United Nations legal opinion on the matter. To this day, the UN consider Western Sahara to be a colony.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
L'associazione Western Sahara Resource Watch ha pubblicato oggi stesso un rapporto che descrive come il Marocco intenda costruire impanti di energia rinnovabile di più di 1000 MW (megawatt) nel Sahara Occidentale, un territorio che il Marocco occupa parzialmente.
Even more wind farms are being planned in occupied Western Sahara, and all of them are in the portfolio of the Moroccan monarch's company NAREVA.
Danish-German Siemens Wind Power and Italian Enel Green Power have won the tender to construct five wind farms in Morocco. Only, two of planned farms are located outside of Morocco, and inside occupied Western Sahara. WSRW had warned them from taking part in the tender.