Plans for photovoltaic plants have run up against opposition from environmentalists. | GOB

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Plans for seven photovoltaic projects are currently being processed by the regional department for energy and climate change. These are small projects with a combined 20.66 megawatts which will increase the availability of photovoltaic renewable energy by 25%.

At present, there is a total of 79 megawatts output. In the pipeline are much bigger projects that will add almost 200 megawatts more. The large photovoltaic parks of Santa Cirga and Cap Blanc are, however, encountering opposition from environmentalists.

Five of the seven small projects are in Majorca - two in Bunyola, two in Llucmajor and one in Consell. The government wants to encourage these schemes, but pressures from public bodies (such as town halls) as well as environmentalists are restricting their size. The latest technology is, meanwhile, reducing the cost of the solar panels.

An incentive for companies is likely to come from Madrid. While the national energy ministry wants to persist with the coal-fired power station in Alcudia for cost reasons, it is nevertheless studying the award of 60 million euros of financial assistance for renewables. This would be money shared between the Balearics and the Canaries and it would be combined with additional funding from Europe.

Joan Groizard, the director-general for energy and climate change, says that this financial support will mean that small-scale renewables' projects can be more profitable. Without this financing, he believes, only large-scale photovoltaic parks will be truly viable.