Offshore wind politically attacked in Spain

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Spanish offshore wind development came under political attack last month. Most spectacularly the president of the vast southern region of Andalucia, Manuel Chaves, issued a circular informing town halls of his rejection of 2000 MW of offshore project proposals for Cape Trafalgar, on the Atlantic side of Gibraltar. Chaves cited lack of social consensus as the reason behind his decision. Subsequently, Angel Muñoz of Spain's national coastal directorate announced that his department would soon reject a 384 MW project proposed for the Mediterranean coastline off Valencia on environmental and visual impact grounds. More than 11,000 locals signed a petition against it. Eduardo Sartí from project developer Capital Energy says the environmental impact assessment is still in progress and had not yet been presented. "So how can there be an environmental verdict?" he asks. Sartí looks forward to central government plans to publish specific regulation for offshore development this month. "Spain's offshore potential is huge and serious development has only just begun," he says. Capital Energy has applied to develop a further 270 MW, nine miles off the shore of the Andalucian province of Huelva.

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