Scientists, businessmen, and activists have all urged authorities to start promoting big wind and solar energy farms across the territory. Their ‘Renewable energy, or Catalonia will clag behind’ (Renovables, o una Catalunya a la cua, in Catalan) manifesto warns of the delayed energy transition and focuses on the need for wind and solar power to boost this change.
Climate change underscores the need to implement this transition fast and “at a large scale,” the text reads. Some of those supporting the proposal are National Geographic explorer Enric Sala, international consortium Global Carbon Project executive director Pep Canadell, and Mònica Roca, the president of Barcelona’s businesses association.
All of them, as well as other scientists and activists, bet on a “hybrid” energy system mixing small and large farms.
“Unfortunately, Catalonia lags behind Europe and Spain in terms of energy independence and renewable energy,” the manifesto reads. “We are lagging behind countries of a similar size as ours, such as Belgium and Denmark, where despite having fewer hours of sun, they have a solar production capacity of 6,000 and 8,000 MW, while we only have 455 MW,” the text continues.
Another example from the manifesto is the “huge increase” in renewable energy in Spain, as in 2021, 46.7% of all electricity was produced by renewable sources. In Catalonia, only 17.5% was.
“Despite this delay, the Catalan government has agreed to have a carbon-neutral society by 2050, reducing energy consumption by 41% compared to 2017 and getting 97.5% of all energy from renewable sources,” the text adds. However, those signing the document believe that to reach these levels, authorities must multiply current solar and wind energy production by 33.
“Solar farms and wind farms – on land and offshore – should be part of our new landscape,” the manifesto says. “These are essential in guaranteeing energy supply to cities, industries, or essential equipment such as hospitals and sewage treatment plants.”
Those in favor of the manifesto also consider that the “marginal” solar farms on buildings and small terrains will not solve the problem as “the magnitude of the climate change crisis is enormous.”
“We have to create a zero-emissions energy system in record time,” the manifesto concludes.
Several wind farms projects
Catalonia has seen many businesses interested in building wind farms either offshore or onshore in recent years.
One of the most controversial ones is the expected ‘Parc Tramuntana’ offshore of Costa Brava’s Cap de Creus. While authorities support the project, critics remain unconvinced.
Locals are not too sure about the ‘Parc Tramuntana’ wind farm either, but now, they could see up to a third wind farm as plans were unveiled.
However, more recently, German firm ABO Wind requested permission to build another wind farm, in southern Catalonia, with up to 21 wind turbines.