El Hierro, Canary Islands

El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain

  • Target: To become a self-sustaining island in the face of the global climate crisis and persistently high fossil fuel prices.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Five turbine wind farms and hydro plant supplies 80% of the island’s energy demands, 20% is generated through solar thermal collectors and grid connected photovoltaic systems. El Hierro’s climate and topography are key factors to the success of its renewable energy systems. The wind blows strongly and steadily. The island is small but mountainous. Excess electricity wind farm is used to pump water into an empty volcanic crater above sea level. When the wind is weak, the stored water is released through turbines to secure a steady supply of electricity. Biomass energy is being evaluated on the island, and electric vehicles are planned to replace fuel-based cars. Another trial is the installation of desalination plants to provide the island with fresh water.
  • Implementation: In the early 1980s, a development model was put in place that focused on respecting the natural environment and conserving natural resources. By 1997, the island council had adopted the El Hierro Sustainability Plan. Its framework initiated a technical feasibility study and finally the construction of the “El Hierro Hydro-Wind Plant”. At a cost of 65 million euros, the project was implemented by 3 entities: the island government of the Canaries (60% ownership), the Canaries Institute of Technology (10%), and a private Spanish energy and utility group (30%). The project was strongly support by its citizens as well as public (particularly the EU) and private institutions which contributed significant economic investment. The remote location of the island and recent submarine volcano eruptions have caused some difficulty with regards to security and logistics. However the council are continual working to address these challenges. It is estimated that the Hydro-Wind Plant project has helped avoid the annual consumption of 6,000 tonnes of diesel, equalling 40,000 barrels of oil that would have to be imported, thus creating a savings of over 1.8 million euros a year.
  • Population:10,798 (2018)
  • Area: 268.71 km2(103.75 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.goronadelviento.es/index.php
El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain

Extremadura, Spain

Extremadura, Spain

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Solar energy, wind power and hydropower.
  • Implementation: The region of Extremadura in southwestern Spain is one of the country's leaders in renewable energy installation. In 2010, its electricity demand was met by entirely renewable sources for the first time. In that year, the higher than usual winds and rainfalls, made its wind power and hydroelectric plants more productive than usual. It even enabled Spain to export electricity to France for the first time. Under normal weather conditions, Extremadura would only meet 78% of power demand with renewable technologies. However, renewable electricity installation has progress rapidly in the region in the last decade, which will see 100% renewable energy achievable for the long-term . For example, Extremadura today region gathers over 40% of Spanish concentrated solar power (CSP) projects. Wind energy has also been boosted and in 2011 the first 97 wind parks were approved in Extremadura, with more than 1.700MW. Biomass is an emerging sector, due to the large quantity of available resources of the region. Many plants are being promoted and an average of 150MW is expected to be implanted in the next 3 years.
  • Population: 1,087,778 (2016)
  • Area: 41,634 km2 (16,075 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.eneragen.org/en/members/extremadura-energy-agency/
Extremadura, Spain

Navarre, Spain

Olite, Navarre, Spain

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Windpower, photovoltaics, biomass, biodiesel and geothermal energy
  • Implementation: Navarra is a small region in Northeastern Spain, and is celebrated for its diverse renewable energy portfolio.Today, the region is one of the largest producers of wind power in Europe. Wind energy development in Navarra started at the end of 1994. By 2001, 65% of electrical energy consumed in Navarra came from renewable energy. During this period, almost 100 MW of photovoltaic power had been installed. Currently, approximately 70% of the electricity comes from the wind and sun. In the region, many isolated solar photovoltaic facilities have been realized since 1990s. By the end of 2001, the largest photovoltaic solar energy plant in Tudela was installed, with a capacity of around 1.2 MW. Today, there are over small 500 isolated solar facilities. Biomass energy, biodiesel fuel and hydro power also play important roles. In Sangüesa, a biomass plant generates electricity from the combustion of waste cereal (straw) and wood residues with an installed capacity 25 MW, producing 200 GWh/year. It is the biggest plant in South Europe. In Caparroso, a biodiesel plant has been operating since 2004. In the 1990s, two biogas plants were installed to generate electricity with the input of gas methane produced in the municipality solid waste dump area and in the waste water treatment plant of the Pamplona City. Navarre has a tradition of producing electricity from small hydro power plants since the end of XIX century. Some plants of those plants are still working. Today, 107 small hydro power plants are operating with total capacity more than 195 MW. The main companies responsible for renewable energy projects in the region are Corporación Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN) and Iberdrola (main electric company of distribution in Navarra).

    The region has managed to expand the use of renewable energy by providing regional institutional support: 10% tax credits for investment in wind energy, connected photovoltaic, biomass, biodiesel, and geothermal; and up to 50% in economic aid for investment into isolated photovoltaic, 65% for Thermal, 50% for Biomass, and 30% for Geothermal. (In 2006, Government of Navarra granted 195.74 million Euros in tax credits for photovoltaic installations alone). Up to 2005, Government of Navarra granted assistance of 6 million Euros each financial year.

  • Population: 647,554 (2018)
  • Area: 10,391 km2 (4,012 sq mi)
  • Link: The outlook for renewable energy in Navarre: An economic profile
Olite, Navarre, Spain