Friday, December 3

Catalunya against Glasgow, by Joan Tapia

The imminent Glasgow summit against climate change opens at a time of uncertainty. The price of natural gas has multiplied and it has moved to electricity. And in addition to the price, the gas shortage cannot be ruled out in the coming months. Europe depends on Russian gas and Spain on Algerian gas. And in both cases – for different reasons – there may be supply problems.

One reason for the increase in the price of gas – also oil and other raw materials, although to a lesser extent – is that the start of economies after the pandemic has been of such intensity, higher than expected, which has generated a great demand. And this demand is difficult to satisfy because many countries, to advance in the decarbonization of economies, are diverting electricity production from coal to less polluting natural gas.

The objective is that renewable energies (hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic) represent half of electricity production in 2030. But, until then, gas and nuclear will be key and, in addition, renewables are not always active because they depend on the wind and the sun.

In Catalonia, the objective of that 50% of electricity comes from renewables was assumed in the climate change law of 2017. But little progress has been made and now only 19% of electricity (including hydroelectric) comes from these energies –Percentage lower than the rest of Spain–, while 54% is of nuclear origin.

The reason for this worrying Catalan delay It is due both to the lack of political impulse (the Government has been in other things) and to the strong territorial opposition, aggravated by the concentration in some regions of the south of Catalonia. Sectors that They call themselves ecologists, or defenders of the territory, They thus oppose the development of renewables that are essential to combat climate change. A great contradiction. And the municipalities have not passed on to the citizens the compensations – not negligible – that the municipalities that host them have, which does not help their acceptance.

In the negotiation for the formation of the new Government, the CUP demanded a moratorium which is what, in fact, has happened since the February elections, further aggravating the alarming delay that Catalonia is suffering. To meet the target of 50% of electricity from renewable sources in 2030 (we are at 19%) the power now installed would have to be multiplied by six. For a little more than three the wind (the windmills) and for no less than 17 the photovoltaic.

The Government has approved this week a new renewables decree that aims to reverse the delay. The decree has been attacked by opponents of renewables, but does not satisfy many experts either who believe it to be unambitious and that – they say – will not solve the many regulatory obstacles that paralyze – or slow down – the development of renewables and even the implementation of new industries that, in some cases, migrate to Aragon, where they find many facilities.

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This delay it will seriously damage the future of Catalonia. Facing it is urgent and a qualified expert in the sector tells me that only a strong government could do it and with a lot of territorial implantation, which would prioritize both economic growth and the fight against climate change.

What Govern? Do not doubt it, a great coalition of three from ERC, JxCat and PSC. It is only the opinion of a qualified expert, but it is advisable to think twice.

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