Canary Islands as a testsite for marine renewable energies in the Ecoislas forum

The use of the Canary Islands as a test site is a unique opportunity to promote the development of marine renewable energy generation technologies in Spain and the world, as revealed in the international forum Ecoislas, which had as one of its axes to marine renewable energies and which had the participation of the Ocean Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN).

The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has promoted the Ecoislas Forum to enable a space for discussion, proposals and promotion of measures aimed at enhancing the transition towards a greener, more profitable, more self-sufficient and environmentally more sustainable socio-economic model with an island approach.

The energy transition represents an excellent opportunity for the Canary Islands to create sustainability, energy security, new job niches, reduce the carbon footprint or diversify its productive fabric, as highlighted in the panel dedicated to marine renewable energies in which PLOCAN director José Joaquín Hernández Brito participated.

The panel concluded on the need to accelerate the implementation of offshore wind and offshore renewable energies and the importance of coordination and teamwork to seize the opportunities offered by these technologies and address the challenges that arise, as well as the urgency and need for acceleration and greater coordination among stakeholders, especially in the regulatory field and between different administrations.

In this sense, the need for coordination between the different administrations to accelerate the road map of offshore wind and offshore renewable energies in Spain was highlighted, showing the importance of working together to take advantage of the opportunities offered by these technologies and to address the challenges presented in the titanic challenge of the change of economic model that is faced.

The director of PLOCAN José Joaquín Hernández Brito, moderated a debate on the opportunities and challenges that the islands have as test banks to boost the development of marine renewable energies in Europe.

The event combined the vision and participation of sectors such as the Maritime Cluster of the Canary Islands, Elba Bueno, the Spanish Association of Wind Companies, Tomas Romagosa, energy communities, Nuria Albert, and research centers, Gonzalo Piernavieja.

Among the opportunities was using the Canary Islands as a test bench for new technologies and social, economic, environmental or regulatory innovation.

With its privileged location, climatic conditions and existing infrastructures, the Canary Islands is an ideal place to develop and test technologies in offshore wind and marine renewable energies, attracting investment and generating new ecosystems of innovation and sustainability. In addition, participants emphasised the importance of a clear and stable regulatory framework on islands to encourage investment in the sector and ensure the long-term success of these technologies.

The debate claimed the need to unlock the potential of the islands, playing a more active role in accelerating the technologies for obtaining energy from the marine environment, social awareness, coordination among stakeholders, and the need for urgency in the actions necessary to avoid wasting the opportunity cost.

The particular urgency was also highlighted in the training and retraining of technical personnel with the necessary skills, offering new employment opportunities and talent retention in the islands. De nuevo, la planificación y la coordinación se ha destacado como elemento clave, siendo necesario una mayor colaboración entre el sector público y el privado para el diseño de nuevas herramientas en procesos de formación continua y actualización de conocimiento en un sector que está en efervescencia.

In the regulatory field, the complexity of the reform demanded from the sector was recognised, and the use of the islands was requested in the trial of new experimental regulatory frameworks that can provide scientifically proven information for better legislation.

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