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Pines and pineapples vie for space on El Hierro, a tiny rugged Canary island that has gone all out to produce all its electricity from renewables, attracting global attention in the process. On Feb. 15, this remote Spanish island nestled deep in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa managed just that – for the first time, its hydro-wind plant produced enough electricity for the 7,000 inhabitants for more than 24 hours. So it was that in June 2014, authorities inaugurated the Gorona del Viento plant which combines five wind turbines planted on a hill with one water retention basin further up, and another further down.El Hierro's aim initially was to cover 100 percent of its electricity needs within a few months – an objective that has still not been achieved nearly two years on.Juan Pedro Sanchez, head of the Gorona del Viento plant, admits that the average is closer to 50 percent. Then the two water reservoirs are not big enough to produce "clean" electricity all year round, and there are no plans to build another.
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