After years of worrying about water supplies during the summer, this year central and local governments could have a new concern - electricity. Alarm bells started ringing in Madrid yesterday after Spain's electricity companies warned of power cuts from the start of next month as demand starts to rise to peak at the annual high in the middle of August. Last year Majorca and Minorca were hit by a series of major power cuts the worst of which, although not the fault of the electricity company, caused chaos at Palma airport and left hundreds of thousands of tourists stranded both in Palma and at key airports across Europe. However, Spain's deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy, Rodrigo Rato, was quick to give his guarantees that there will be “sufficient” electricity this summer and that there will not be any power cuts as demand soars. Rato said that while demand for electricity rises every year, so does the size of the country's electricity grid and that between now and the end of next year, power production in Spain will have increased by 14 per cent. However, there are genuine concerns for regions where demand for electricity has been traditionally low, but have recently witnessed a sharp increase in demand. GESA, which supplies and generates electricity for the Balearics is confident that it has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that there is not a repeat performance of last summer's power failures. GESA sources have said that steps have been taken to increase the amount of power generated with the primary aim of ensuring a guaranteed and “good” service this summer. The opening of the new gas turbine plant at Son Reus has enabled GESA to boost supplies considerably for both Majorca and Minorca. The Son Reus plant has been specifically set up because of the island-wide black out on June 15 last year. This summer GESA hopes it will have a reserve of power to draw on when demand reaches its peak.

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