The Canary Islands have the necessary conditions to use 100% renewable energies
The natural resources the Canary Islands count with are enough to provide the archipelago 100% renewable power supply, said the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr. Juan Verde. The official of the President of the United States Barack Obama, highlighted the decision taken by El Hierro to be the first island in the entire world to use 100% renewable energies, but he also said that “all the islands in this archipelago count with the necessary natural resources to depend 100% on renewable energies. However, they are not taking the necessary measures to do that”.
Mr. Verde, who was also funder member of the Al Gore’s climate change leadership program, said that “in the Canary Islands, 95% of the energy come form fossil resources, while almost constants wind and sun are wasted instead of being used to provide an endless supply of renewable energy. This is a decision to be taken by the government, but citizens should become aware of what it is necessary to do in order to assure sustainability and the main role they play in achieving that”.
Mr. Juan Verde gave a talk at the Summer University of Adeje, where he explained that “the archipelago counts will natural resources and also the professionals and research centers, specially in Tenerife, to get under way a strategy to become 100% independent on fossil resources of energy”. He added that, “it is necessary to increase the number of professionals in this field and to study the needs of each island”.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia to the U.S. Department of Commerce said that it is possible to finish with the dependence on fossil sources of energy for transportation and power supply in the archipelago because the natural resources for the development of renewable energy are varied. The waters that surround the islands allow the development of a stream generators complex. This technology is available and can be used in strong currents like the ones the Canary Islands have.
Wind power parks
Regarding this energy resource for power generation, Mr. Verde explained that wind parks can generate nowadays about 10 megawatts, having each turbine 127 meters diameter, although the stream generators are even bigger, about 150 meters diameter, more than 1 2/2 football pitches. The U.S. officer said that wind parks potential is huge because in few years they would be able to generate about 1,500 megawatts, which would be enough to provide power supply to the biggest cities in the Canary Islands.
“The demand of energy has been increasing constantly; we all talk about reducing costs, but nobody stops using cars of turning lights off”. Mr. Verde said that the lack of responsibility people assume for their actions is causing global warming.
With regards to the Canary archipelago, the consequences of the climate change are visible, with the increasing arrival of illegal African immigrants in “pateras” (small boats). Mr. Verde said that this is because of global warming, which is causing long-lasting droughts that are ending with crops and fresh water sources, causing devastating famine, diseases, poverty and civil wars. Demographic pressure has forced Africans to move to the capitals and then to immigrate to other countries risking their lives in unsafe boats.
According to the Deputy Assistant Secretary, experts calculate that if the tendency in global warming continues and humans don’t do anything about it, “about 5,000 million people will be forced to leave their homes in the coastlines due to the increase in the oceans level”. If humans don’t take measures to prevent this, they will have to readapt to the future world’s conditions. “The planet won’t disappear because of global warming but human kind probably does”.