The development of renewable energies in the Canary Islands crossed a long desert of almost 20 years. The proliferation of wind farms that was predicted at the end of the 90’s became entangled in a tangle of nonsense that included even the passage through the courts of a former director general of Industry plant launched in 2021.
In the last legislature, the blades of numerous wind turbines were finally able to start turning . If in 2013 only 7.67% of the energy demand was met with renewables, last year it was already 17.5%. The data itself exposes the acceleration , although it does not hide the need for the color green to conquer higher levels in the energy mix of the Islands.
In the Archipelago, all the energy that is not generated by taking advantage of the wind or the sun comes from thermal power plants in which oil is burned. In other words, each mill that is not planted generates, in its absence, high levels of contamination . However, the speed used to turn the situation around does not always go hand in hand with success, in this case with the preservation of environmental values.
In April 2021, the organization Azaenegue Naturalistas denounced the end of the days of the Tirajana ravine as a breeding area of the Saharan corridor, a bird classified as vulnerable in the Regional Catalog of Protected Species. Only a few isolated specimens can be seen in the area, one of the most hit by the trade winds and, therefore, one of the most precious for the installation of wind farms.
Ecologists warn that the proliferation of wind turbines, those that are already there and those that are to come, make it impossible for all the flora and fauna that populated this and other areas of the Canary Islands to survive 20 years ago. On the first Saturday in June, various social and environmental groups in Fuerteventura took to the streets to demand rational planning of the wind power plants.
Nobody in the Islands disputes the need to introduce more renewable energy , and quickly if one hopes to respect the decarbonisation commitments acquired by the EU. However, the scarcity and fragmentation of a protected territory with greater or lesser intensity by 50% requires a reflective attitude. “Without a doubt, we must continue, but in an orderly manner,” says Miguel Ángel Pérez , deputy minister for the Fight against Climate Change and Ecological Transition of the Government of the Canary Islands .
According to his account, the problems derive from the abuse of exceptionality when applying the laws in the recent past and he warns that in recent times there have been wind farms already projected and with allocated power that have not passed environmental processing.