The Tenerife Government is proposing that the Spanish Government undertakes drilling exploration to identify the potential of geothermal energy in the Canary Islands, and the only region in Spain where this could possibly exist, but requires around 20 million euros to explore the subsoil.
This motion is presented with the support of all political groups represented in the Tenerife Government, but similar initiatives are being simultaneously presented in Gran Canaria and La Palma, because these three islands specifically have previously made joint efforts to evaluate the geothermal potential of the Canary Islands with direct involvement, but with little success in support from the Spanish Government.
It is suggested that three drilling sites should be sufficient for Tenerife geothermal energy exploration with a third of these costs covered by the island government, one third covered by a private initiative that has an interest, and the need for state aid to cover the final third of costs.
Nemesio Perez, scientific coordinator of Involcan, explained this week that the Division de Vulcanismo y Medio Ambiente del Instituto Tecnologico y de Enbergias Renovables (ITER) or the Division of Volcanism and Environment of Technological and Renewable Energy Institute, and the Volcanic Energy Centre have carried out previous projects to search for geothermal resources of high temperatures of more than 150º C or enthalpy in Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Iceland, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand and Rwanda.
The special case of the Canary Islands is remarkable as this impact of renewable energy source could produce virtually emission-free and continuous production at all hours every day, as well as allowing improvements in the security and stability of the existing electric power supply.
In Tenerife, there are five mining areas or domains of over 100 square kilometres for geothermal exploration including Guia de Isora, Santiago del Teide, Garachico, Icod de los Vinos, Arona, Adeje, Vilaflor, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla de Abona, Arico, Fasnia, Guimar, Candelaria and Arafo.
IGME or the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain has widely studied the Canary Islands for its great geothermal potential due to active underground volcanic activity between 1970 and 1980 with favourable results, and was considered the only region of Spain with high enthalpy geothermal resources was the Canary Islands. However, over the last 20 years no progress has been made in geothermal research in these islands.
This demand by the Tenerife Government on behalf of all the Canary Islands said that there is already necessary and sufficient support from public and private entities that is needed for geothermal energy to contribute to strengthening the energy mix of the Canary Islands, and the geothermal research techniques and methods, and efficiency of these plants have evolved remarkably over recent years, and now allow the exploitation of previously unviable deposits, which has renewed interest on a global scale for generating electrical energy with this system.
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