Balearic Islands target 100% renewables, inspiring 26 EU islands

(EurActiv, 18 Feb 2019) A plan by Spain’s Balearic Islands to switch to 100% renewable energy and ditch coal power became law last week, while 26 islands across the EU are launching a new clean energy strategy on Monday (18 February).

After first announcing their plan last year, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera will now work towards a 100% clean energy system by mid-century, phase out diesel cars and shut down Mallorca’s coal power plant, both by 2025.

The Italian owner of the power plant, Endesa, has agreed to retain all jobs and unions are said to be fine with the agreement.

But not everybody is happy. Spanish car association ANFAC complained that the new law is “discriminatory and regressive” and that no other countries are banning specific technologies.

“It undermines the freedom of movement of people, goods and services, one of the pillars of the EU,” an ANFAC source said. “Car manufacturers are committed to the decarbonisation of the fleet, but this measure is disproportionate.”

Under the law, new petrol cars will also be nixed in 2035, while the islands’ lucrative car hire business will go all-electric.

The president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, said the new law will not only protect the environment but the people living there as well.

“With our law, we will become more productive and competitive, and strengthen our international image. And most importantly, with this law, we gain in quality of life and seal a guaranteed future for our Islands,” said Armengol.

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EurActiv, 18 Feb 2019: Balearic Islands target 100% renewables, inspiring 26 EU islands