The Es Murterar power station in Alcudia would be redundant under climate change legislation.

06-04-2008Andrew Ede

The regional government is to introduce legislation on climate change. Radical objectives envisaged in this legislation include the elimination of all petrol and diesel vehicles and their replacement by electric vehicles. By 2050, there will be no CO2 emissions, with fossil-fuel power stations also ceasing to be. They will be replaced by alternative, renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on solar.

Projects for photovoltaic plants have, however, run up against opposition, not least from environmentalists. GOB opposed two projects - one in Llucmajor, the other in Manacor - neither of which is now likely to go ahead. The opposition was because they were both earmarked for rural land.

Energy minister Marc Pons accepts that there will be resistance to certain projects but that this will not deter the government. One line being followed at present is to negotiate with Madrid for grants to create photovoltaic plants that are on a smaller scale but which will be economically viable and have less territorial impact. One such scheme which does look as if it will come about is one near to the power station in Alcudia.

The draft for the legislation being worked on by Pons and the director-general for energy, Joan Groizard, seems unlikely to give an option for wind energy. This is because of the visual impact. The photovoltaic option is felt to have far less impact.

In order that solar could meet energy needs for the Balearics, the government calculates that plants would need to occupy 1.5% of land. For it to realise its objective, there would need to be substantial investment. Currently, only around two per cent of energy production comes from renewables, a situation in marked contrast with parts of mainland Spain.

The legislation is scheduled to start its parliamentary procedure before the end of this year.

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