The General Director of Ecological Transition, Pedro Fresco, has spoken out against the measure that different municipalities are taking to suspend municipal licenses for photovoltaic solar plants due to the flood of projects presented in many of them.
Within the Photovoltaic Plants Forum . Loss of value of the territory , organized by Uepal in Villena, precisely one of the municipalities that has registered the most proposals, Fresco has pointed out that there are sufficient controls in Decree Law 14/2020 of the Generalitat Valenciana to guarantee the defense of the territory while the generation of new sustainable energy resources is promoted.
In recent months, several consistories of that region, such as Castalla or Ibi, have adopted this measure, as have other Valencian municipalities, considering that macro-plant projects can endanger their landscape and agricultural activities, since prices for the land offered by energy companies are much higher than the leases for crops.
Fresco has indicated that there is “a climate crisis to face, where the Valencian Community is in the most problematic area” and a commitment to grow in photovoltaic energy production.
For her part, Rosa Pardo, from the General Directorate of Territorial Policy, has pointed out that there are mechanisms to agree with the City Councils on the ideal location where its impact is the minimum possible. Both directors have indicated that the regulation contemplates that a maximum of 2% of the territory of each municipal term may be used for the location of photovoltaic or wind power plants, which will mean that not a fifth of the applications will be approved.
The Generalitat’s proposal is to achieve an installed capacity of 6,000 MW of renewable energy in 2030, although in 2019 only plants were approved to generate 4, in 2020 none, and during this 2021, 10 throughout the Valencian Community. In fact, as published by elEconomista, the Consell fell far short of its own objectives for 2020.
The president of Uepal, Juan José Sellés, considered that there is a double challenge: on the one hand, to ensure a new energy model that decarbonizes the economy and overcomes the dependence that Spain has on third countries in this regard; and on the other, without this necessary process involving the elimination of important land and territory with scenic and agricultural value, especially in the territories of certain Alicante regions. “Equilibrio” is the concept to which Sellés has appealed.
Municipal officials have demanded in this forum greater clarity in the powers and decision-making capacity of the City Councils, which allows them to combine the balance of protecting their territory and ensuring new activities related to the generation of clean energy.
The president of Asaja, José Vicente Andreu, has defended the need to update the General Urban Planning Plans (PGOU) to protect agricultural activity, which in many municipalities generates wealth, employment and sustainability of the territory. In this sense, the president of the DO Vinos de Alicante has stated, regarding the irrecoverable value of agricultural land when it is used for other uses and the impact it can have on wine production.