Last year, Endesa explained in a report that “cases of electricity fraud linked to marijuana plantations have doubled in the last four years”. Endesa closed 2021 with 1,636 cases of fraud linked to marijuana plantations, twice as many as in 2018. In 2022 it registered 1,800 cases. The damage is immense because the average consumption of a plantation is equivalent to that of 80 homes.
The last plantation dismantled by the National Police was a few days ago, in Alcantarilla (Murcia), connected to Iberdrola.
In recent years, the three major electricity companies – Iberdrola, Endesa and Naturgy – have seen the problem increase exponentially, sometimes with enormous media coverage. Some months ago, Naturgy had to deal with a gigantic problem in the Cañada Real Galiana area of Madrid, where the fraudulent connections of dozens of illegal crops caused such a huge disruption in the network that it collapsed and led to blackouts, harming customers who did pay the bill, in addition to the losses it caused for the company.
Most of these plantations are fraudulently hooked into the electricity grid, from which they obtain the enormous amounts of light they need to illuminate these plants permanently and thus accelerate their growth.