Generalitat will not oppose offshore wind farm in Roses

Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition claims Catalonia is a decade behind in clean energy

3 min
Minister Teresa Jordà during the presentation of Proencat.

BarcelonaCatalan Climate Action minister Teresa Jordà admitted this Friday that the 500 MW Tramuntana offshore wind farm off the coast of Roses can play "an important role" in the decarbonisation of Catalonia, although she recalled that the installation does not depend on the Generalitat, but on the Spanish government, as it will have over 50 MW and is in external waters. Jordà has insisted that the Government will ensure that things "are done rigorously and well", protecting the fishing grounds and birds in the area, and with a buried export cable.

The Jordà claimed that the promoters of the Tramuntana wind farm are "modulating" the project following the proposals made by the Generalitat. "Many of the demands, if not all of them, are being met," she said at a press conference.

Jordà presented the energy prospective of Catalonia 2050 (Proencat), which is committed to electrification and energy efficiency. According to Proencat, the process of electrification of the economy will raise the weight of electricity over energy consumption in Catalonia to 34% in 2030 and 76% in 2050. To meet the decarbonisation objectives, one priority will be efficiency, said the director of the Institut Català de l'Energia (Icaen), Marta Morera, which should enable electricity consumption to be reduced by 2.9% in 2030, 18.9% in 2040 and 30.3% in 2050. The reduction in energy intensity should allow the energy needed to produce a product or provide a same service to be halved by 2050, said Morera.

In spite of everything, an important boost to renewables would be needed, especially from 2040, when the three nuclear stations currently operating in Catalonia (Ascó 1, Ascó 2 and Vandellòs 2) will have already closed. Thus, Proencat foresees having 12 gigawatts (GW) of installed power in renewables in 2030 (5 GW of wind and 7 of photovoltaic), to reach 62 GW in 2050 (just over 26 of wind and just over 33 of photovoltaic).

Beyond the installation of renewable power, Proencat highlights the importance of implementing an electricity storage system at four levels –individual consumers, local communities, users associated with distribution and transport networks and large singular systems– and working on the development of batteries and other energies such as green hydrogen, biofuels and advanced biomaterials.


Renewable energy installations in 2050, according to the Department's data would occupy 2.5% of the Catalan territory, not counting those on rooftops. This is much less than the 17% Barcelona Chamber of Commerce calculated in a recent report. But for this to be possible, in addition to promoting self-consumption with photovoltaic panels on the roofs of buildings, 1,000 MW of offshore wind power will also be needed. The Tramuntana de Roses project would therefore cover half the needs of these offshore installations.

If the plan's targets are met, dependence on foreign energy will fall from 94.2% to 6.7% in 2050. "This will mitigate the effects of geostrategic conflicts related to energy, which are becoming more frequent and more intense," the Catalan government states.

Criticism from the State

Spanish vice-president and minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge Teresa Ribera has said that Catalonia is "well behind" in the deployment of renewable energy and has welcomed the proposal to build an offshore wind farm on the Costa Brava. Speaking to Radio 4, Ribera said that the average presence of renewables in Spain is almost 40%, while in Catalonia it is around 13%: "[Catalonia] has wasted a decade. I think it could miss a very significant train from the point of view of innovation and employment".

Regarding the Tramuntana wind farm, she said that the Spanish government will develop an urban planning plan for the marine area, which will then be put out to tender to select the projects with "the most solvent proposals", and that they are holding talks with France to reach a consensus on areas close to the border. However, she has explained that there are complex technical issues to be solved about this park –such as export lines–, which is why it will not be finished for "a few years". In the meantime, she believes that renewable energy facilities on land are the way to go.

The State will not finance gas and nuclear power

Ribera has advanced that Spain will not finance new nuclear power plants or new gas infrastructure even if the two energies are considered green in European regulations, after the Commission's decision. Ribera has described it a mistake to punt under the same heading energy that can contribute to decarbonisation –such as nuclear and gas– with those that are "clearly in favour of decarbonisation without risks". Ribera has maintained that the government's intention is to maintain "a higher standard" and has announced that it is studying whether to file an appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) against the Commission's decision, adopted against the Council's criteria. "It requires a legal analysis. Politically we have a clear picture, and we believe the signals they are giving are a mistake," she added.