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Spanish Canary Islands with enormous geothermal potential

Punta de Teno, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Span (source: flickr/ engerundio, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 18 Sep 2015

The Canary Islands, belonging to Spain, have an enormous untapped geothermal potential for power generation, heating and cooling, as discussed this summer by a conference.

The Spanish Canary Islands just off the coast of North Africa have enormous geothermal potential they have so far not been able to utilise this potential. So far only a few facilities are known to utilise geothermal. The archipelago of the Azores, which belongs to Portugal and is not that far from the Canaries, has though been able to top into its geothermal resources, deriving today about 22% of its energy demand from geothermal.

All islands of the Canaries offer plenty of options for harnessing the heat of the earth, both for air conditioning to install power plants.

In late July this year, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas held a conference on the geothermal potential of the archipelago, which saw only little media coverage in the regional press. The Institute of Canary Volcanológido ( Involcan ) highlights the fact that the geothermal potential of the Canary Islands is huge, as showed the experts participating in the meeting.

So, Celestino Garcia of the Noceda Group President geothermal Somera platform GEOPLAT said that Lanzarote has enough geothermal resources to generate by itself all the energy consumed by the island along with that of Fuerteventura (450 megawatts). B

ut also the other islands could host numerous geothermal power plants for air conditioning of hotels or any other facility. From Noceda also put emphasis on the rapid depreciation of these facilities (save 60% ??of energy, as underlined), its local character and its minimal impact on the environment. In fact, he recalled, the Environment Agency (EPA) considers the geothermal sa greener and cleaner energy of all existing.

“Once we have made ??the holes for the inlet and outlet flow of water transfers the heat or cold to the surface, outside just the beginning of the pipe system of geothermal exchange is appreciated,” said the expert. Almost a third of the energy of the islands

“Geothermal energy can generate 30% of clean energy in the Canary Islands and given it back,” said the president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, the presentation of the conference, in which also involved experts from the Technological Institute of Renewable Energies ( ITER ) and the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain ( IGME ), among others.

Subsequently, told Europa Press, Antonio Morales said that large combined cycle plants Canaries are obsolete and produce a “brutal” pollution.

“Here are a brutal interests to prevent the penetration of renewables, first because there is a monopoly [Unelco / Endesa] you need to sustain and makes cost us 1,200 to 1,500 million euros annually produce more energy.”

Viable technology economically and also the European Commission considers it feasible, “technologically and economically” Canary bet for greater exploitation of geothermal energy, according to the response sent in August by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete to a question from canary PP MEP Gabriel Mato , and portal informing geotermiaonline .

“With regard to the possibilities for a more extensive development of this energy source in a region with great potential as the Canary Islands, the Commission services considered technologically and economically feasible greater exploitation for various applications, including electricity generation and direct use of heat, “said the commissioner in his written response.

Arias Canete also points out that in the seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2007-2013 ), the Commission funded projects worth over EUR30 million ($34 million) to address the challenges related to the deep and shallow geothermal energy. In the current Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020), “the Commission continues to maintain its support,” said Arias Cañete. He adds that the Commission is working in collaboration with the Member States to coordinate research efforts in the field of geothermal energy in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan).

For now, the Canary government has been granted EUR 900,000 ($1 million) in subsidies for nine geothermal projects which mainly benefit the hotels that use energy for air conditioning and water heating, as recorded by the BOC from July 31. According to information published by the City of Güimar , this municipality South Tenerife will be the first in Spain to host a high temperature geothermal power plant to generate electricity.

Source: Energias Renovables