“ One of the best ways of reducing the effects of climate change is to generate energy using the most abundant of renewable energies,” says Pastor during a recent exclusive video interview with Renewable Energy Magazine. “There is no evidence whatsoever that offshore wind farms have a negative impact on any marine wildlife. In fact the opposite is true: they act as artificial reefs which provide protection for fish.”
Pastor, who was awarded the Spanish Environment Prize in 2002, believes that establishing offshore wind farm research centres is essential. “The more research centres there are developing these technologies, the more can be done to promote them. Furthermore, there is a series of issues related with marine wind that require further investigation, such as the development of cheaper wind turbines that can be anchored at depths of 100 to 200 metres. Other renewable energies also need to be explored”.
Xavier Pastor believes that the environmental criteria established for offshore wind are clear. For example, “a strategic study of the Spanish coastline has been performed by the Ministries for the Environment and Industry with the participation of prestigious organisations such as Birdlife International and WWF – which cannot exactly be said to be supporters of offshore wind – leading to the publication of a map showing where offshore wind farms cannot be located for environmental or other reasons”.
Equally, any projects have to undergo a strict environmental impact assessment before being approved. “If the cost-benefit from an environmental perspective is favourable, we are party to not only approving such projects, but actually encouraging the roll-out of offshore wind turbines both in Spain and anywhere in the world where they can be installed”.
The need to control carbon dioxide emissions by the world’s marine fleet is also another matter discussed with Xavier Pastor during the interview with Renewable Energy Magazine. These emissions are equivalent to the total emissions of a country like Germany or the United Kingdom and “as each month passes, stopping climate change becomes more difficult”.
Pastor concludes by reviewing the achievements of Oceana in the nine years since it started working to protect and regenerate the world’s oceans.
This vREM video interview is available on the Renewable Energy Magazine homepage.
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