Renewable energy in Navarra

“Spain is currently undergoing a renewable-energy revolution, with the Navarra region set to be the first in Europe to be self-sufficient in renewable energy”. The US rating agency Standard & Poors, in a current investigation of standard of living in Europe, ranked Navarra, whose primary source of renewable energy is wind power, uppermost among the 17 autonomous regions of Spain. Navarra, Europe’s sixth largest producer of wind power, currently sustains approximately 70 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources, wind farms being used most extensively, and has a 900-megawatt capacity of installed wind power, ranking it ahead of the UK, Sweden, and France.

Navarra lacks thermal, nuclear, coal, oil, gas fields, or hefty hydro-electric power stations, but does possess considerable renewable resources, which the Government of Navarra pursued to drop its foreign energy dependence. “Navarra’s economic success is a function of its small population (only 500,000 people), low unemployment, rich agricultural traditions, and most recently, a boom in rural tourism”.(Stewart, Jules (2006). “Windmills of the Green Mind.”. Geographical. 78 (3): 56-58. )

Navarra was entirely reliant on imported energy until wind-power development and utilization began progress in. Now, with its own renewable energy companies, such as Navarra Hydroelectric, projects are underway including the proposal of building the biggest offshore wind power production facility in the world in southwestern Spain on the spot of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. The location contains shallow water levels that would accommodate an offshore wind farm while taking advantage of the widespread winds to produce power sufficient for 750,000 homes. “However, the plan has enraged historians who claim that the area is a war grave and that any development of the area could destroy archaeological evidence of the historic battle”.

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