Spain offers Morocco wind plant to stop nuclear plan
1 June 2000
The Spanish regional government of the Canary Islands has offered to build a six turbine wind plant in Morocco instead of a nuclear power station to generate electricity for a desalination plant in the province of Tan Tan, which lies 200 kilometres from the Canarian coast. Lorenzo Suarez, the Canaries head of industry, has visited Tan Tan with five engineers from the Canarian Technological Institute to survey the area and establish the viability of the wind plant proposal. The Tan Tan authorities hope to promote the area's green tourism potential, which is currently limited due to drinking water supply problems. In addition, several groups from the islands have protested the nuclear plans due to fears of possible contamination. Suarez points out that if the wind project is approved it will turn out 4000 cubic metres of drinking water a day at a cost of approximately ESP 100 per cubic metre versus ESP 125/cubic metre with the nuclear option. Funding for the plant would come from the Canary regional government with support from Spanish development aid funds. Carlos Bravo of Greenpeace España points out that the world's only other nuclear desalination plant was installed in Kazakhstan in 1979; it closed ten years later because it was non-viable.
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