Catalonia’s delay in the generation of renewable energy has been going on for a long time, but it is in this 2022 when perhaps the alert calls for the slowness in its deployment become more pressing, because at this point no one can deny the climate crisis and because, among the many negative consequences of the war in Ukraine, including an energy crisis for the great dependence on fossil fuels, that it has made the cost of living more expensive and that with the rigors of winter it is putting some European countries on the ropes (France is already preparing for power cuts). One of the key concepts of the moment It is that of energy sovereignty, the great objective for an economy to consider itself stronger, less vulnerable to geopolitical ups and downs. And if we are to move towards decarbonisation, it is clear that Catalonia is far from achieving sovereignty in green energy. According to the latest data from Red Eléctrica, only 17% of the energy generated in Catalonia is from renewable sources, a figure well below the 46.7% for Spain as a whole. While, for example, autonomous communities such as Aragon, Castilla y León or Asturias have taken giant steps in the installation of wind turbines, Catalonia did not install a single new wind power plant in three years (from 2019 to 2021). Inaction will lead to a competitive disadvantage that will make Catalonia import more clean energy from other territories than it is capable of producing. It is true that nuclear power today has a very relevant weight, but that should not corner the potential of other energy sources.
The same Generalitat that has been marked as an objective achieve “climate neutrality” by 2050 it is not speeding up or making it easier to get it. Employers have lamented on numerous occasions the slow deployment in renewables. The manifesto that scientists, economists, communicators, activists and other personalities have made public this week demanding to immediately undertake a “large-scale energy transition” in Catalonia has put the focus back on this problem. Self-consumption, which is gaining followers, is a positive step at the level of households and small facilities, but it is entirely insufficient to meet the demand required, for example, by industry. For this, large projects are needed, which are not being implemented. Some are waiting too slow administrative procedures that discourage investment (it can take years to obtain permission), and on numerous occasions have also generated strong social rejection due to their impact on the landscape or on local agriculture.
It is necessary to analyze case by case Negative effects, control and minimize them to the extent possible, but without forgetting that in the long run the consequences of not betting on clean energy will be worse than having a solar or wind farm in a natural environment. Returning to the manifesto, its authors recall that «wind and solar farms can coexist with agricultural and livestock activities; Y offshore wind farms can support tourism and the conservation of marine and fishing biodiversity”, in addition to the jobs and business that they entail. The energy transition implies changes of great impact, which will bring more benefits than costs, it is about Who should bear these costs to a greater extent? in favor of the common good receive compensatory solutions. What we cannot afford in any case is to stop this transformation.