SPAIN’S government has given the green light to launch offshore wind farms after approving the first-ever Maritime Space Management Plan(POEM).

The POEM is about mapping out the coexistence of the farms with activities such as fishing in addition to protecting the environment.

It is in effect a maritime equivalent of land-based planning restrictions.

Under the first POEM map, farms can be set up in 19 sections covering 5,000 m2 of territorial waters.

It means installations will be restricted to just 0.46% of the sea, with the POEM reviewed every six years.

Barring one facility in the Canary Islands, Spain has so far not gone down the offshore farm route as it chose to sort out where they can be located.

The POEM was created after four years of negotiations with regional governments as well as the fishing and tourism sectors.

Ecological Transition minister, Teresa Ribera, said: “The plan ensures priority for areas that need environmental protection or are linked to national security or maritime transport safety.”

It will be down to Spain’s regional governments to process the applications to set up the wind farms that can be installed in 19 ‘industrial’ sea zones dotted around the mainland coast and the islands.

Some areas like the Cadiz and Huelva coasts will not see any development due to the need to preserve biodiversity.

Spain has previously laid out plans to develop as much as three gigawatts of installed offshore capacity by 2030.

Tenders are expected to be announced later this year for new projects.

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