The Moroccan government wants to construct a 300 MegaWatt (MW) wind farm in Tiskrad, near El Aaiun, and plans to erect another 100 MW wind farm in Boujdour, located further down south in the occupied territory. Both farms should be operational by 2020.
In order to market the projects to international energy firms, the two project-sites in Western Sahara have been included in a package-deal together with three other sites in Morocco proper.
A tender inviting energy companies to indicate their interest in building all 5 parks, resulted in quite a number of companies submitting their candidacy. The Moroccan National Office for Electricity and Water (ONEE) has retained 16 of these firms, who are now running either by themselves or in consortiums to win the bid.
Western Sahara Resource Watch has sent letters to all of the firms engaged in the bid, asking them to refrain from building infrastructure on occupied land.
The involved companies are; - Acciona Wind Power (Spain)/Acciona Energia (Spain)/Al Ajial Funds (Morocco) - EDF Energies Nouvelles (France)/Mitsui&Co (Japan)/Alstom (France) - Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia)/Gamesa Eolica (Spain)/Gamesa Energia (Spain) - General Electric (USA) - Nareva Holding (Morocco)/Taqa (Abu Dhabi)/Enel Green Power (Italy)/Siemens (Germany) - International Power (UK - though acquired by French Groupe GDF Suez in 2012) /Vestas (Denmark)
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
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.