The proliferation of large renewable energy projects in Spain continues to generate protests in the four cardinal points of the country. In Almería, residents, businessmen, fishermen, environmentalists and all kinds of groups reject a offshore wind farm located just in front of the main protected area of the province.
More than 120 organizations have expressed these days their rejection of the Mar de Ágata Marine Wind Farm that is planned to be built off the coast of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, (Almería), because its location “attempts against one of the areas of greatest ecological and landscape value in the Mediterranean».
The members of this platform against the construction of the wind farm off the coast of Almería assure that these projects entail “risks to marine ecosystems and fisheries”, according to a statement from the Stop Parque Eólico Mar de Ágata platform, set up to try to prevent the creation of said installation and which brings together all the groups involved.
Wind turbines 261 meters high
The aforementioned platform argues that the 20 wind turbines that are expected to be installed, with a height of 261 meters, would occupy an area of 70 square kilometers and they would be very close to protected natural spaces, such as Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPA), Special Conservation Areas (ZEC) of the Natura 2000 Network and the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Biosphere Reserve.
On the other hand, the wind project threatens an area that is “critical habitat for cetaceans”Therefore, an installation of this type would increase the risks of collision and disturbance that can affect the marine mammals that pass through these waters.
The platform, which will continue to seek support between institutions and entities against this wind farm, claims to be committed to “the fight against climate change and the global ecological crisis”, but advocates less shocking formulas and commitment to strategies to reduce consumption by saving and improving energy efficiency.
The secretary of the Association of Friends of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, Juan Manuel Jerez, explained to EFEverde that the project “would mean deploying 20 wind turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower», in a «privileged» environment for «traditional fishing uses, as well as for its scenic and natural wealth».
Jerez points out that renewable energies, “well planned, are a good option” and has suggested taking advantage of already built spaces, such as the greenhouses that dot the province, to deploy “translucent solar panels on them” and thus obtain “renewable energy without causing environmental impacts”.
Hoteliers, fishermen and environmentalists
The mobilization deployed in Almería against this project has managed to involve not only environmental organizations, but also businessmen from the tourism sector, who see the attractiveness of this area threatened, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The City Council of Níjar, the Provincial Association of Hospitality Entrepreneurs of Almería (ASHAL), the Association of Entrepreneurs of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park (ASEMPARNA) and the Rural Accommodation Association of Cabo de Gata-Níjar have also shown their opposition to the project.
The Mar de Ágata Wind Park Stop platform brings together numerous entities aware of the defense of the environment and the conservation of the aforementioned emblematic space, such as the Energy and Territory Alliance (Aliente), SEO/BirdLife, the Spanish Society for the Conservation and Study of Mammals (SECEM), the Spanish Society for Conservation Biology of Plants (SEBICOP), the Spanish Society of Geobotany (SEG) or the Spanish Society of Ecological Agriculture/Agroecology (SEAE).
to these organizations the fishing sector has also joinedrepresented by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds (FNCP), the Andalusian Federation of Fisheries Associations (FAAPE), the Andalusian Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds (FACOPE), among others.
Many political parties, local, cultural and neighborhood associations have also joined the Platform, groups that have managed to gather 13,000 signatures on the change.org platform to say no to a wind farm that in their opinion “does not meet the criteria of an ecological transition and fair.”