Catalonia urges to put wind turbines in the sea to meet renewables targets

The Catalan Minister for Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, Teresa Jordà, warns of the need for “an offshore wind farm on the Catalan coast”.

Less than 20% of Catalonia’s electricity production comes from renewable sources. And on the near horizon appears the commitment signed by the Generalitat and the Parliament to reach 50% green energy by 2030. With such a scenario, the Catalan Minister for Climate Action, Teresa Jordà, travelled this Tuesday to Denmark, where more than 80% of the energy generated comes from renewable sources. In front of the windmills of the Middelgrunden wind farm in the Bay of Copenhagen, Jordà warned that Catalonia needs “a wind farm on the coast”, and estimated the power to be provided by offshore wind power in 2030 at 1000 megawatts (MW), and at 3500 MW by 2050. Catalonia currently has 811 windmills installed on land, producing 1,269 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

The most recent proposal to deploy offshore wind off the coast is the Tramuntana wind farm, a project of 30 wind turbines off the coast of Roses, for a capacity of almost 500 MW. After running up against administrative obstacles and arousing strong public opposition, with more than 20,000 signatures and some twenty town councils taking a stand against the park, the company formed by Bluefloat Energy and Sener Renewable Investments decided to reconsider the project. Nuclear power is the main energy source for electricity production in Catalonia, accounting for 54% of total production. However, the Ascó and Vandellòs nuclear plants are scheduled to close in 2030 and 2031.

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Jordà defends that “offshore wind energy can play a very important role in the energy transition in Catalonia” and stressed that an offshore wind farm has a much higher annual electricity production per MW and per square metre than a solar photovoltaic installation or an onshore wind farm. The minister argued, however, that “an offshore wind farm will only be able to go ahead if its environmental impact is acceptable”, and she pointed out that the final authorisation of a project of this type “is a state competence”. Installations of more than 50 MW exceed the Generalitat’s attributions and, furthermore, it is the State that has the last word on what affects external waters.