Spain, with its sun-kissed landscapes and windy hills, has lately been making waves in the renewable energy scene. As the siestas stretch lazily under the Iberian sun, so does Spain’s commitment to harnessing the power of renewable resources.
Picture this: You’re lounging on a terrace, sipping on a glass of sangria, and the hum of wind turbines in the distance serenades you. That’s the rhythm of renewable energy in Spain – a laid-back, yet impactful, symphony.
Let me start this green journey with the shining star of Spanish renewables – solar power. Spain boasts an abundance of sunlight, making it an ideal canvas for solar farms. Let’s face it, when Hemingway wrote “The sun also rises” he was talking about the Spanish sun.
The vast plains of Andalusia and the Castilian PLATO resembling golden blankets, are adorned with solar panels soaking up the Spanish rays. These solar blankets produce almost 18% of all the energy used in Spain.
These solar farms are not just practical, I think they’re poetic. Rows of solar panels, like sunflowers turning their faces towards the light, silently contribute to Spain’s energy transformation. The best part? It all happens without disturbing the tranquility of a Spanish afternoon.
Now, let’s drift into the soothing whispers of the Spanish wind farms. Here in Spain, we have embraced wind energy with open arms, or should I say, open breezes. Along the rolling hills of Galicia or perched atop the cliffs of Tarifa, wind turbines spin gracefully, generating clean energy with a hint of flamenco flair.
It’s almost like the wind turbines are dancing to a rhythm only they can hear, adding a touch of grace to the Spanish landscape. Who knew sustainability could be so effortlessly stylish?
Yes, there is a BACKFIRE into wind turbines, and it is not a small one. Spain welcomes the migration of the birds who search for warmer weather in the winter and cooler one in the summer. Some of these birds get disoriented due to the vibration of the blades and others, like Don Quixote, church against the mills.
Hydropower, the Liquid Gold
As we navigate through the renewable landscape, we stumble upon the liquid gold of energy – hydropower. Spain’s rivers and reservoirs, tucked away like secret treasures, play a pivotal role in the country’s energy mix. The soft hum of hydroelectric plants blends seamlessly with the babble of Spanish rivers, creating a harmony that resonates with eco-conscious minds.
Unfortunately, in this last decade Spain is suffering from very important droughts. This is making our rivers smaller, and as you can imagine, hydropower is decreasing. Hydro plans used to produce a 9.8%, now we are in a 7% and going down. This is yet another reason to take care of the global warming.
Green Innovations and Sustainable Tapas
Now, let me shift my focus to the innovative spirit of Spain. Beyond traditional renewables, we are exploring cutting-edge technologies. In Catalonia, there is a research facility experimenting with wave energy, capturing the untamed essence of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the kind of innovation that pairs perfectly with the adventurous spirit of Spain.
Andalusia, the southern gem, is not only a champion of wind and solar energy but is stepping up its game with an exciting Green Hydrogen project. This new hydrogen energy is a renewable fuel produced by splitting water molecules using electricity from solar and wind power. By 2030, we plan to crank out a whopping 300,000 tons of green hydrogen annually from two new generation plants.
Meanwhile, the streets of many cities are alive with the buzz of electric scooters and bicycles, as the cities embrace sustainable transportation. Also, most of the new public transportation is turning green.
Let´s not forget the culinary delights of Spain. Sustainable, locally sourced ingredients are the unsung heroes of Spanish cuisine. Just think that when you are eating a plate of patatas bravas, you should know that the ingredients have journeyed from local farms to your table, leaving a minimal carbon footprint. The world now is embracing the Km/Mile 0 markets, well, here in Spain it has been like this forever.
Challenges and the Siesta Solution
Of course, no story is complete without acknowledging challenges. Spain, like any renewable energy trailblazer, faces hurdles on the path to sustainability. Grid integration, intermittency issues, and the need for energy storage solutions are all part of the equation.
Another problem we confront, has to do with the uphill battle Spain faces when it comes to electric cars. Spain, being the proud owner of the second-highest number of mountains in Europe, has a bit of a charging challenge on its hands. Unlike the pancake-flat landscapes of France or the Netherlands, spreading charging stations far and wide across Spain’s mountainous terrain can be quite the costly adventure.
Just as a siesta provides a refreshing pause in the day, Spain is taking its time to address these challenges. Our commitment to sustainable energy is not a sprint; it’s a siesta marathon – a slow, steady progression towards a greener future.
The Ripple Effect
The ripple effect of Spain’s renewable journey extends beyond its borders. Spanish companies specializing in renewable technologies are becoming global players. The sun-soaked nation is not just harnessing energy; it’s exporting expertise and innovation to the world. Companies like Gamesa, Cepsa or Acciona are top players in the world of green energy.
Some Spanish companies, are involved in projects ranging from wind farms in Latin America to solar initiatives in Africa. It’s a ripple effect that transcends geographical boundaries, echoing the global impact of Spain’s relaxed approach to renewables.
On a much humbler way, in my company I have always embraced this green vibe. For example, my commitment is to eat with my groups at restaurants where they use Mile 0 products. Also, when you join one of my tours, chances are that you will have to cross the ocean. Researchers have concluded; it takes 30€ of investment in green energy to clean the Carbon footprint that your flight will create. I have joined the NGO “One Tree Planted” and I donate 30€ to them, so they can plant trees around the world on your behalf.
So, the next time you find yourself basking under the Spanish sun, whether in a bustling metropolis or a sleepy village, take a moment to appreciate the symphony of sustainability around you. In Spain, the journey towards a renewable future is not just about clean energy; it’s a relaxed, sun-drenched lifestyle that harmonizes with the planet.
Cheers to my home country – where renewable energy meets the art of living.