The Ouarzazate solar power project, to be built in Morocco, will on completion be one of the largest solar power plants in the world. It is part funded by UK aid money, yet it is designed to prioritise energy export to Europe rather than to ensure that ordinary Moroccans can access affordable electricity.
The project is being funded by the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund, which has received £385 million, or 14 per cent of its total funding, from the UK overseas aid budget.
This study funds that:
- The Ouarzazate project is being driven by EU interests and policies, and is unlikely to address the energy needs of poor communities.
- Big business and the EU are likely to be the main beneficiaries, rather than the Moroccan population which is likely to face higher domestic electricity prices.
- The project risks burdening the Moroccan state with significant debts as the guarantor of loans taken out to subsidise the public-private power company that will build and run the plant.
- In Ouarzazate as in other Clean Technology Fund projects, the concentration of investment in energy utilities and the private sector in middle income countries...