Catalonia plans to quintuple wind capacity by 2020

SPAIN: The regional government of Catalonia has drafted an energy plan targeting 4GW of new wind capacity by 2020, including 500MW offshore.

The draft, just submitted for cross-party and industry consultation, would quintuple existing capacity to reach 5GW.

To achieve that, the government is calling for a new wind siting map, identifying wind resources and environmental characteristics of different areas across Catalonia.

Wind constitutes the plan's biggest generation technology by far. Its main pillar, however, is energy efficiency, which will absorb 38,000 of the 70,000 jobs the plan expects to create.

But there is a catch. As with other regional wind plans in Spain, it depends on lifting the central government's three-year freeze on new wind capacity beyond end-2012, when the current capacity quota expires.

Rumours abound that the government intends to extend the moratorium to 2015. Such an extension would
have limited impact on Catalonia's plan, however, as it schedules the bulk of new wind capacity — 2.5GW in all — to go up 2015-20.

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