23 Jun, 2021 @ 18:34
1 min read

Malaga authorities demand ‘urgent moratorium’ to halt avalanche of solar farm projects across Spain’s Andalucia

World News April 21, 2020
BEIJING, April 21, 2020 Photo taken on March 13, 2018 shows the Pingjing photovoltaic (PV) power station and Dahaizi wind power station in Weining County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Credit Image: © Li Xin/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

Malaga’s provincial council has approved a motion to demand that the Junta de Andalucia and the Spanish government delay approval for dozens of photovoltaic projects proposed across southern Spain.

The move follows a spate of recent protests by residents in towns across Malaga province as well as neighbouring Cadiz as proposals for widespread solar farms have come to light.

The Olive Press recently highlighted the issue that is raising concerns among residents in some of the most sought-after villages in the hills above the Costa del Sol.

Objections have been raised against the sheer number of large-scale projects planned for rural areas across the region, which many fear will be approved without due concern for environmental impact or damage to rural tourism sector.

This newspaper backed a campaign to halt the solar farms until full environmental impact studies could be conducted.

On Wednesday, the Provincial Council of Malaga unanimously agreed a motion to request a moratorium on such projects arguing that they are being presented as individual projects in order to slip under the radar.

Only those projects which exceed more than 50MW need authorization from the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

“But it is common practice for huge projects to be divided up (into smaller proposals) in order to bypass state controls” insisted the motion.

Plans for some 75 projects in the province alone have already either been submitted or are already under construction, According to Francisco Salado, head of the Malaga Provincial Council.

Meanwhile the number of photovoltaic parks under consideration across Andalucia as a whole exceed 650 individual projects.

The motion, which was approved unanimously by the council, called on a moratorium on all photovoltaic parks in order to place checks on “the uncontrolled avalanche of projects that threaten to destroy the landscape of much of Spain “.

Mayors of towns across the province have joined forces to demand action to stop the proliferation of projects and demand “a reasoned and consensual planning policy that considers the inhabitants, their way of life, the environmental conditions, landscape and value it has on tourism.”

“We need all mayors to join forces so that together the municipalities show a united front against destruction of our province,” said Franciso Martinez, mayor of Alora which has seen recent protests over solar farm proposals.

A huge demonstration is planned for Friday in Malaga with people expected to travel from across the province to show the strength of feeling against the solar megaparks.

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Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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