Government of the Canary Islands largely neglects islands’ geothermal potential

San Andres, Canary Islands, Spain (source: flickr/ vil.sandi, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 6 Dec 2017

The government of Spanish island group the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa largely neglects the geothermal potential, which could provide baseload renewable energy to the island group.

The Government of the Canary Islands, an island group off the coast of the Northwestern tip of Africa belonging to Spain is largely neglecting its geothermal potential.

The potential of geothermal energy on the Canary Islands has been known for 40 years, when the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME) carried out various explorations in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma.

Experts such as engineer Celestino García de la Noceda, say, for example, that “Lanzarote has enough geothermal resources to generate all the energy consumed by the island and Fuerteventura,” about 450 MW. The Government of the Canary Islands while though recognizing the benefits of geothermal energy, is essentially not looking at it as confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Energy, Adrián Mendoza. He openly says that , says openly that in his department “geothermal exploration is not even valued budgeted”.

The government sees the cost of exploration as too costly, as explained by Mendoza, and that the government is not in the power generation business, which should be privately driven.

There has been shown no interest by the government, despite efforts by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) that has presented a project for the development of geothermal high enthalpy pilot project for Lanzarote, which would not have required extensive surveys. Experts believe that Timanfaya thermal anomalies on the surface could be exploited to produce energy, but the government has not answered these proposals.

This seems to be a shame, given the great resources and baseload capacity opportunity of geothermal energy for the Canary Islands.

Source: Canarias7