Gran Canaria government say no more gas

Gran Canaria’s new Insular Management Plan (Plan Insular de Ordenación (PIO)), announced at the end of May, eliminates all regulations aimed at the further implementation of gas as a source of energy for the island opting instead for greater commitment to the development of renewable energies, such as solar, wind, hydroelectrics or biogas. The Special Territorial Plan for Hydrocarbons (PTE-43), had aimed to determine the model and location for a regasification plant, but now has been removed from planning documents.

The document for adaptation of the PIO to Guidelines of General Management and Tourism for the Canary Islands, was sent last month by the island government of Antonio Morales to all political groups within the Cabildo to present their amendments, confirming the removal of installation plans for a gas plant as an alternative to liquid fossil fuels, sharply resolving controversy over its planned location in the port of Arinaga.

President Morales and members of the tripartite pact of Nueva Canarias, PSOE and Podemos announced at the beginning of their 2015 mandate a rejection of gas as an energy source in understanding that its implementation on the island could act as a brake on the penetration of renewable energies. In their view, the hypothetical gas companies would like to amortize investments made on the island and would prevent the introduction of wind or photovoltaics over the next ten or twenty years.

After communicating the decision to the Government of the Canary Islands , the Cabildo de Gran Canaria now eliminates all references to gas in their latest revision of the Insular Plan and repeal all enacted preparatory legislation in the Hydrocarbons Plan considering this a competence of the other administrations. The former insular government of José Miguel Bravo de Laguna, of the PP, claimed from the Government of the Canary Islands competence to elaborate such plans, raising controversy about the location of such facilities which prevented them from concluding their work on the subject.

Wind power

In contrast, the revision of the PIO promotes the Special Territorial Plan for the Management of Infrastructures for Production, Transport and Storage of Wind Energy (PTE-32), in a clear preference over gas.

The Environmental Report of the PIO review was already announced to include “determinations aimed at enhancing energy diversification and ordering for the implementation of infrastructures for the use of renewable energy sources”, which include solar, wind, hydroelectric and biogas . In the new document there are no references to the regasification plant, save only the announcement that it “eliminates” the previous Hydrocarbons Plan.

Island planning began to be revised in 2010, under the mandate of José Miguel Pérez (PSOE-NC), and has suffered numerous delays, some of them stemming from the controversy over the introduction of gas. The document prepared by the Ministry of Territorial Policy includes the actions and priorities for the next fifteen to twenty years in energy, roads, transport, waterworks and waste. In the economic study all these actions are quantified for a budget of around €5.14 billion, the equivalent of seven annual budgets for the Cabildo.

On the other hand, the insular government reported yesterday that it has consolidated an agreement with the City of Ingenio to relocate two cattle ranches by means of an additional provision in the Insular Plan that includes a new location, more remote from the population and with greater surface area.

This includes relocation studied by both the Cabildo and the Las Palmas City Council throughout a process that has culminated with a detailed review. Problems arose in 2011, when the Special Territorial Plan for the Agricultural Sector (PTE-9) predisposed installation of two areas for livestock use near the water collection reservoir of Aguas del Toscal, a measure which the company appealed based on the understanding that the facility could cause contamination of water.

Source: La Provincia