The two proposed options for the wind farm project off the coast of the Costa del Sol. / sur

Costa del Sol offshore wind farm project gets thumbs up from ecologists

The local fishing industry also believes the turbines will not pose a problem to the sector

I. LILLO / M. RIVAS MALAGA.

The proposed wind farm off the Costa del Sol has received mainly positive reactions from ecologists and from experts at the University of Malaga, because they believe the advantages would outweigh possible inconveniences.

“We are in favour of offshore wind farms because we need energy transition as soon as possible; the wolf is already at our door. If it means we have to reduce our demands slightly, then so be it,” said Rafael Yus, the coordinator of de Gena-Ecologistas en Acción. “The turbines would be a long way offshore so they would hardly be visible. There is no reason to oppose them”.

He said they would not affect marine species and their location would not impede bird migration as most migratory routes cross the Strait of Gibraltar. “The ones that do fly in this area are normally higher, so they would not be affected, and marine birds would get accustomed to the generators,” he said.

Enrique Salvo, a lecturer in Environmental Sciences at Malaga University, is currently studying climate change in the Alborán Sea, which is where the 200-metre tall generators would be installed. He agrees that bird migration would not be affected and that Malaga desperately needs renewable energies.

“I think this is a positive project,” he said. He also pointed out that there would be minimal visual impact and neither marine currents nor the seabed would be affected.

What about fishing?

One economic sector which could be affected by the wind farm, which would be the size of 30,000 football pitches, is fishing. However, the fishing association in Fuengirola does not think the generators would pose a problem because they would be situated a long way from the normal fishing grounds.

“They would be 25 kilometres offshore, and we don’t normally go that far out. We fish about 8 or 9 kilometres away from the coast,” said José Florencio Román, the secretary of the association. “At a distance of 25 kilometres, we don’t believe they would affect us in any way”.