Government defends Catalonia will need offshore wind energy

Climate Action minister calculates needs at 1,000 MW in 2030 and 3,500 MW in 2050

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Minister Jordà and the Secretary for Climate Action during the visit to the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm.

BarcelonaCatalan Climate Action minister Teresa Jordà has defended this Tuesday that Catalonia will need to have 1,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power installed by 2030, for which "we will need an offshore wind farm on the Catalan coast," she admitted. Jordà has endorsed this type of renewable energy, as long as its environmental impact is "assumable", during a trip to Denmark, where she visited the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Copenhagen.

The Catalan Government plans to present this Friday in Barcelona the Catalan Energy Prospective 2050, which, among other aspects, will define the need to have 1,000 MW of offshore wind power in 2030 and 3,500 MW in 2050, according to Jordà.

Catalonia has no offshore wind farms. However, it has a large offshore wind project, the so-called Parc Tramuntana, promoted by offshore wind energy development company BlueFloat Energy and the engineering and technology group Sener, which wants to build a floating offshore wind farm 24 kilometres off the Bay of Roses, on the coast of Alt Empordà, with an installed capacity of 500 MW. This project has raised the reticence of different social movements, fishermen and environmentalists in the area.

The minister has not referred at any time to this project, but has assured that an offshore wind farm "can only go ahead if its environmental impact is acceptable and the relevant corrective measures are taken to safeguard fishing grounds and environmental impact".

However, the minister recalled that the authorisation for this marine park to be built off the coast of Roses is responsibility of the State, as it is in "external waters" and has a power of over 50 MW. For this reason, she urged the Ministry for Energy Transition to "incorporate criteria of consensus and territorial dialogue in the processing of the project to facilitate its implementation". The minister also advocated achieving maximum consensus with social, economic and scientific players.

Important role

According to Teresa Jordà, offshore wind energy can play a very important role in Catalonia's energy transition, since an installation of these characteristics generates a much higher energy production than a solar photovoltaic installation or an onshore wind farm.

As an example, she said that a 1,000 MW offshore wind farm would be equivalent to installing about 2,300 MW of photovoltaic panels on the ground, which would have a much greater environmental impact, and use up more land and resources.