Canary Islandshas stopped emitting 1.8 million tons ofCO2into the atmosphere as a result of theenergetic politicsdeveloped by the Government of the autonomous community. This amount is equivalent to the emissions that generate 1.5 millionvehiclesdriving an average of 10,000 kilometers for four years. In addition, the Islands have reduced the consumption of fossil fuel by 1.4 million barrels of crude, which compared to the average consumption of a car of 10 liters per 100 kilometers is equivalent to giving 22,000 laps around the earth or traveling 890 millions of kilometers.
These are some of the achievements that have been presented this Wednesday at the meetingObjectives met. Challenges of the sustainable modelwith the participation of the president of the Canary Islands,Fernando Clavijo, and of the Minister of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge,Pedro Ortega. Both leaders reviewed the actions taken by the Executive so far in the legislature to promoterenewable energyand reduce energy consumption in order to abandon a traditional energy model for a more sustainable one and confront the fight against climate change.
In the ceremony held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the presidents of the Canarian Association of Renewable Energies (ACER), Enrique Rodríguez de Azero; and from the Wind Power Association of the Canary Islands (AEOLICAN), Rafael Martell, as well as entrepreneurs linked to agriculture andtourism, who presented the experience and results of the implementation of saving actions and improvement of energy efficiency in their businesses, and representatives of the residential sector.
All highlighted the support ofGovernment of the Canary Islands, which since 2015 has allocated more than 23 million euros to this end, promoting a total of 753 projects in town halls, residential buildings and companies linked both to the adoption of energy saving and efficiency measures. Among them, the implementation of led luminaire, the development of energy audits, the installation of renewable, mostly photovoltaic solar energy, in addition to various actions to promote self-consumption photovoltaic, low temperature thermal solar energy, thermal biomass; aerotermia and wind isolated.
In his interventions, Fernando Clavijo and Pedro Ortega made reference to the progress made in renewable energy, mainly in wind energy, after a specific call for the Canary Islands was approved in 2015. This great qualitative leap has resulted in the installation of 253 megawatts of wind power and 32 new wind farms; the execution of 335 million in investment and the creation of 2,282 jobs, as a result of the installation and maintenance of wind turbines. "On the road taken by the Government towards a more sustainable Canary Islands," said President Fernando Clavijo, "we have tackled the fight against climate change from three points of view: more renewable energies to the maximum possible with current technology, the optimization of consumption with energy saving and efficiency measures, and the growing use of less polluting fuels ".
At his side, the counselor Ortega pointed out several reference data. "Canarias has gone from being one of the autonomous regions with less wind energy to lead the development of wind energy, after tripling in three years the installed power, which has gone from 164 megawatts in 2015 to the 417 megawatts recorded in December of last year "
Clavijo also stressed that, as a result of this important growth of wind energy in recent months, the Canary Islands managed to reach a series of historical milestones that were unthinkable years ago. Thus, in 2017 the Islands accounted for 100% of the investment in wind power in Spain. And a year later, in 2018, the archipelago was responsible for almost half of all the growth of wind energy registered in the State, with 190 megawatts of the total of 392 megawatts recorded in 2018 throughout Spain. This boost of wind energy in the archipelago has led to a greater development of energy transport infrastructure. In particular, six new electrical substations have already been built and the expansion of two existing stations has been undertaken, as well as the associated infrastructures, which has involved an investment of 434 million euros.
On the island of Gran Canaria, the installation of the Chira Soria hydroelectric plant, of 200 megawatts, is already in process. This infrastructure will allow the storage of renewable generation surpluses that can not be integrated into the electrical system, so that they can later be integrated into the system when their production is lower. Allowing, therefore, the maximum integration of this type of energy on the island. Also highlighted was the Gorona del Viento plant, unique in the world, which is a clear example of the natural laboratory that is the Canary Islands. In 2018, 57% of the energy demand of the island of El Hierro came from this plant, which during two 18-day periods reached production levels that allowed the insular energy coverage to be 100% renewable energy.
Regarding the remains of the future, both the president and the Minister of Economy highlighted the boost of off-shore wind energy after the installation of a prototype of a 5 megawatt offshore wind tower that was pioneered worldwide in 2018. Canaria and continue advancing in the fulfillment of the objectives set for 2025 of reaching 45% of renewable penetration.