Costa Brava wind farm backed by three largest parties ahead of Catalan election

Socialists, ERC and Junts support offshore renewables plan, CUP opposed, Vox favors nuclear option

Prototype of a marine wind turbine from Esteyco's 'Wheel' project
Prototype of a marine wind turbine from Esteyco's 'Wheel' project / Esteyco

ACN | @agenciaacn | Girona

May 6, 2024 10:11 AM

The three largest parties in Catalonia – the Socialists, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts – all agree ahead of the Catalan election on May 12 that offshore wind power is a good opportunity for Catalonia to progress with its green energy transition. 

Plans to build an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Roses on the Costa Brava have the support of the three parties who have a realistic chance of providing the next Catalan president. 

On the other hand, far-left CUP are opposed to the project for environmental reasons while far-right Vox want Spain to develop more nuclear energy to achieve energy sovereignty. 

At the end of March, the Spanish government approved a Royal Decree establishing the rules that will govern the bids to choose the companies that will build an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Roses. 

As of today, there are six projects on the table, all of them in different phases. The most advanced plan is Parc Tramuntana, promoted by BlueFloat Energy and SENER, which envisages 33 floating windmills with 500 MW of power about 24 km from the coast. 

Opportunity for economic development 

The Socialists' top candidate on their list in Girona, Sílvia Paneque, believes that the implementation of a marine wind farm will represent an "opportunity for economic development" for the area. 

The world will experience a "green reindustrialization" in the coming years and it is necessary to decide "what role" Girona plays in it, she said. 

Laia Cañigueral, candidate for pro-independence ERC, sees offshore wind power as an opportunity to "invigorate an industry that will be at the cutting edge in the coming decades." 

Salvador Vergés, representing Carles Puigdemont's Junts, says the Catalan government should have the power to decide where wind farms are built, and said that a lot of focus is put on the Gulf of Roses but that only "between 1 and 2 GW of the 62 GW that will be needed before 2050" will be generated there. 

Public wind farms in "damaged" places 

The candidate for far-left CUP, Dani Cornellà, is completely opposed to the offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Roses. 

He wants Catalonia to follow "examples from other countries" that have offshore wind power projects "but without affecting biodiversity or the economy of the territory." In addition, Cornellà believes that these wind farms must be "public" rather than "owned by large multinationals." 

CUP argues that renewable energy projects – whether wind farms or solar parks – should be located in spaces that are already "damaged," such as industrial estates or along transport corridors, such as the AP-7. 


Far-right Vox calls for "energy policy at a national level" so that Spain achieves energy sovereignty. Their candidate for Girona, Alberto Tarradas, says that will mean a "mix" of energy sources, including nuclear. 

Economic criteria prioritized over environmental ones 

The Royal Decree approved by the Spanish government says that economic criteria will be prioritized over environmental criteria in the bids, with a 70% and 30% weighting respectively. 

The three independence parties – ERC, Junts and CUP – all object to this weighting, which has the support of the Socialists and Vox.  

ERC and Junts call for a "balance" between economic and environmental criteria while CUP points out that there are European directives that call for biodiversity to be protected.