Island electrical interconnection

Wednesday, 01 July 2015

The acting president of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, has proposed an electrical interconnection project to the European Union, between Tenerife and Gran Canaria and between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, “a strategic project for the future of renewable energy in island territories ” and it could be extrapolated to other areas of the world with the same problems.

Rivero, who participated in a debate about sustainability in the General Assembly of Islands of the European Union, recalled that electrical interconnections are a priority for European energy policy, but that the outermost regions have been marginalized precisely because of their remoteness the continent.

“However, we also need these interconnections between the islands and between them and the African continent,” he said.

In this regard, the (acting) President emphasised the challenge of electricity generation in small isolated systems, whether insular or continental, such as the electrical interconnection through deep waters, not would assist in the introduction of renewable energies in the Canaries, but also could be shared by many territories worldwide facing similar problems, “we are opening a great industrial opportunity that requires a proper test platform.”

Islas Canarias, said Rivero, offers the possibility not only to experience new technologies and install electricity generation from renewable sources, but the availability of technology parks for development in other regions, particularly Africa, much improved logistical options currently available for the interested European industries.

The President recalled that the Canaries has an “excellent” wind resource in many areas exceeding three thousand hours of wind equivalents, reaching over four thousand in certain areas and that the insulation is far superior to that of continental Europe .

It also has an interesting geothermal potential and “off-shore” technologies (located at sea) energy production is already being tested, along with wave energy from the ocean, and there are proposals for biomass power plants.

Harnessing all this potential energy is one of the main challenges of the Archipelago and other territories that share the same difficulties, so overcoming the technical difficulties requires experimentation carried out under controlled conditions and with a small population, “so the Canary Islands can be a great industrial laboratory of sustainability technologies.”

Rivero, who explained some pioneering experiments carried out in the archipelago, such as the hydro-wind power plant of El Hierro, recalled the conclusions of the First International Summit for Renewable Energies held in the Canary Islands last March and used his speech to ask the EU for special arrangements in terms of policy and budget for the promotion of clean energy in the outermost regions.





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