Plans for offshore wind farms on the Costa del Sol have been rejected by local councils and environmental groups who stress the environmental cost and impact on tourism.
The opposition to the proposed wind farms follows the approval on February 28 by the Maritime Space Management Plan (POEM), a sea planning authority, to advance offshore wind farms which includes two projects off the Malaga coast to be headed by IberBlue Wind and Ferrovial.
The Association of Municipalities of the Costa del Sol criticised the state government for putting forward plans without proper dialogue with local councils.
The Mayoress of Marbella, Angeles Munoz, showed her opposition to the offshore wind farm project, emphasizing that it undermines their main industry, tourism.
So far the Municipality of Fuengirola declined to make a statement on the project until they “have more in-depth information”. One of the main concerns of the local authority is “the fishing sector”.
Fishermen are concerned that the proposal could significantly impact their activities in the area. The president of the Fishermen’s Association of Marbella, Manuel Haro, highlighted that it would harm “shrimp and lobster trawlers’’ that fish “about 15 miles from the coast”. The wind farms would affect four boats in the municipality of Marbella and 15 in the town of Fuengirola. Haro hopes that the State begins dialogue with the fishermen’s collective to provide more information on the project.
Ecologists in Marbella have also expressed concern about the project in terms of the potential environmental impact. In particular the group have highlighted the seagrass meadows in Calahonda, the lighthouse of Calaburras and the dunes of Cobopino which are protected areas.
The green group has stressed that increasing the number of artificial structures in a transit area for different species between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic could negatively affect the marine fauna. The proposed wind farms would be floating however they are anchored to the ground which could impede these migratory routes.
Additionally the location of the planned projects are along key migratory routes for birds from the European continent to Africa.
With regard to the eyesore, ecologists believe the impact to be minimal, expecting that from the promenade in Marbella they will not be visible.
Members of the group were also surprised that one of the proposed locations is between Marbella and Estepona where the wind may not be intense enough to justify the planned projects and their maintenance, they suggested that the Strait of Gibraltar or the coast of Galicia would be better suited to such wind farms.