There is a boom in requests to install large wind farms currently in Galicia. There are more than 301 that add up to more than 2500 MW representing more than the half of the installed power in Galicia in 20202. his supposes an impact on Galician society and the environment that has not taken place for replication or debate from the institutions which has meant the emergence of numerous movements and initiatives that bring together social, environmental and neighborhood groups that oppose the installation of these parks3.
This is nothing new for the land of Miño. In 2019 Galicia installed twice as much wind power as in the entire previous decade since the sector had come to a standstill due to the cancellation of the wind power tender of the coalition government and other obstacles imposed by the government of Rajoy. The promoters of the new wind farms are companies that already have significant power (EDP, Iberdrola, Endesa-Enel Green Power, …) or that aspire to be new leading players in the wind power sector in Galicia (Greenalia, Capital Energy, Statkraft …).
In 2017 Galicia produced 31,532 GWh, a quantity of electricity much higher than the consumed one (18,918 GWh). Of all the electrical energy produced from renewable energy sources, 64.88% came from wind power, surpassing the target of 50% for 20204. On the contrary only 0.68% comes from solar energy. While in other European countries self-consumption is promoted through solar energy here a model of electricity export in the hands of multinationals continues to be perpetuated.
The wind energy lobby defends the installation of these parks, promising that they will generate economic benefits for the municipalities that house the wind infrastructures. However the Galician Wind Observatory (OEGA) contradicts these statements, 98% of Galicia’s wind farms are located in rural town councils where their installation did not involve the establishment of the population, nor the promotion of employment nor the significant improvement electricity service or electricity costs. Of the 106 municipalities where 4,026 wind turbines are located throughout Galicia, the population increase was analyzed in 56 municipalities (including the heads of the region) in which 2,749 wind turbines are installed. 50 of these municipalities lost an average of 28% of their population from 1996 to 20205.
The absence of a regulation that protects the spaces of high environmental value in the installation of wind farms means that spaces such as the Groba and El Suido mountains or unprotected areas of the Massif central orensano, Pena Trevinca or the Courel are threatened by the construction of new parks6.
The role of the wind sector is key in the mitigation in Galicia of the impact on global warming but this should not become an excuse to ignore the social, patrimonial and environmental impacts of its development in its previous stage and we must be vigilant to demand another model for the stage that begins to ensure the least environmental impactand the greatest social benefit to citizens by protecting biodiversity and thus the survival of humanity itself7.
1 http://observatorio.eolico.webs.uvigo.es/2020/12/09/boom-de-peticions-de-grandes-parques-eolicos-a-traves-do-ministerio/ 2 http://observatorio.eolico.webs.uvigo.es/2020/12/09/boom-de-peticions-de-grandes-parques-eolicos-a-traves-do-ministerio/ 3 https://www.gciencia.com/medioambiental/os-xigantes-eolicos-volven-achegarse-ao-ultimo-glaciar-de-galicia/ 4 https://valminortv.com/2020/11/22/crece-la-oposicion-vecinal-contra-los-parques-eolicos-de-las-serras-da-groba-y-do-galineiro/ 5 http://economiaecoloxica.webs.uvigo.gal/docs/publicacions/informe_oega_2019.pdf 6 http://observatorio.eolico.webs.uvigo.es/2021/02/17/movemento-ambientalista-contra-parques-eolicos/ 7 https://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-es.pdf