The fields of Méntrida are the livelihood of hundreds of people who live from agriculture, livestock or tourism. Soon, as far as the eye can see, it will be a sea of mirrors.
Only in this municipality of Toledo will solar parks be installed that will affect a third of its territory. In rural Spain, plagued by depopulation, some voices are raised against the boom in renewable energy.
Pilar Jiménez-Landi, a member of the Salvemos los Campos association, declares: “What are they going to do to us, destroy our countryside, our way of life, agriculture, of many towns? For what? So that other industries have energy at instead of destroying the entire countryside of some regions of Spain”.
More than two hundred citizen associations have united against a renewable energy model that they assure will destroy the landscape and hardly create jobs. The Government has given the go-ahead to 182 wind and solar macro-farms since the beginning of 2022, in an area of 53,000 hectares.
It is estimated that Spain will have to build some 200 gigawatts of renewable electricity generation to meet its carbon neutrality targets for 2050. The question is how to reconcile the energy model with respect for the environment and the rural environment.
At the Viñedos del Río Tajo farm, owned by Gonzalez-Byass, they are carrying out a pilot test together with Iberdrola with agrovoltaic technology, which allows synergy between the installation of renewables and traditional land uses.
An algorithm analyzes the needs of the crops in real time and moves the panels to generate shade and protect them from the increasingly extreme sun due to climate change.
“In the event that this coexistence of the panels and the vines were successful, it could be replicated in hundreds of thousands of hectares throughout our geography,” Miguel Tejerina, director of Viñedos del Río Tajo viticulture.
Agrovoltaic technology already produces around 14 gigawatts worldwide. It is estimated that only in Almería 31 million MWh could be produced on its 40,000 hectares of greenhouses. So that photovoltaics, this time, will allow the creation of a solar farm.
Source: Euronews Español