The Basque town of Mutriku, nestled in a bay along the rugged northern Spanish coast, has a long history intertwined with the sea. For centuries, the ocean has been a source of livelihood for its inhabitants, from fishermen and traders to shipbuilders and whalers. But now, the town is harnessing the power of the sea in a new way.

In 2010, Mutriku became the first town in the world to have a wave energy power station connected to the grid. The station, which uses a system of submerged hydraulic pistons to convert the motion of waves into electricity, has a capacity of 300 kilowatts, enough to power around 300 homes. The station not only provides clean energy to the town, but it also serves as a symbol of Mutriku’s transition from a traditional fishing village to a town at the forefront of sustainable energy. The town has also implemented a number of green initiatives, such as the use of electric vehicles for municipal services and the installation of solar panels on public buildings. These efforts have earned Mutriku recognition as a leader in sustainable energy, and it has become a model for other coastal towns looking to transition to clean energy.

The sea will always hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Mutriku, but now it also holds the key to their energy future. As per Violeta Bandrés, a guide at the Mutriku Tourism Office, the history of Mutriku is one of men and women whose lives unfolded in this environment. Now, the sea is not only giving us a way of life, but it’s also giving us a way to protect the planet.