Solar is the future of energy in Mallorca. | Javier Coll

The Balearic government is to tighten regulations regarding the creation of photovoltaic parks, especially those which are to be on rustic land.

The switch to solar, in line with government energy transition policy, will mean green energy, but its benefits for the environment have run up against environmentalist opposition. The solar parks take up a good deal of land and they have a visual impact.

A modification to the energy sector plan has therefore been made in order to establish measures to mitigate the environmental impact. The director-general for energy and climate change, Josep Malagrava, says that most of the new requirements have already been met, as they had previously been requested by the Balearic Environment Commission.

One of the measures will be to limit installations to less than one hectare for each megawatt of power. Under circumstances where this can't be complied with, such as because a park is combined with agricultural activity, there will be exemptions.

In terms of the visual impact, there will be an obligation to plant trees and bushes (of indigenous varieties) around the whole perimeter. There will need to be an irrigation system to promote rapid growth. All buildings will have to be stone and painted with ochre colours, while external carpentry will have to be of a traditional character. In the event that trees or crops have to be eliminated, there will have to be replanting on other plots with the same area to that which has been eliminated.