Spanish Island of El Hierro's Carbon Neutral Energy Plans Soon to be Completed

el hierro wind turbine photo

photo: BBC News

A couple years ago TreeHugger highlighted the efforts of the island of El Hierro (one of the smaller of the Canary Islands, with a population of about 10,000) to make the switch over to generating all of its power from renewable energy sources. For an update on this interesting project, the BBC is running a short video clip which is worth checking out. Unfortunately the BBC terms of services regarding embedding preclude me doing so, but here's a summary:

el hierro map image

map: Wikipedia
Wind-Hydroelectric System to Supply Bulk of Power
In the works for the past 10 years, within 1-2 years time the island will be entirely powered from renewable sources. An onshore 10 megawatt wind farm and hydroelectric power with supply 80% of the power. Excess power not fed into the grid will be used to pump water uphill into a storage pond currently under construction for hydroelectric usage. The project is currently budgeted at €54.3 million.

Other renewable sources of energy will also be called into play: Solar power will play a part with grid-connected solar panels being installed, with the initial emphasis on public buildings; solar thermal water heaters. Biomass and biogas from sewage and municipal solid waste are expected to enter the picture in later stages of the project.

Check out to BBC video clip for more on how the plan was developed, interviews with some of the people involved, as well as how other islands can learn from the El Hierro project.

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