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Ponta Delgada ,  November 19, 2009

President of the Government announces revision of current energy system for energy production from renewable sources

The Regional Government is committed to comply with the goals defined by the “energy climate/package” that the European Union has approved a year ago. The new legislation aims to reduce 20% of the greenhouse gas emissions and increase the contribution of renewable energies in the energy consumption to 20%. Through this measure, the European Union expects to increase the energy efficiency in 20% by 2020.

The commitment of the Azores in these purposes was reiterated today by Carlos César at the signing ceremony of the protocol between the Green Islands project, the Government of the Azores, University of the Azores and the Foundation for Science and Technology (MIT-Portugal).

During his speech at the ceremony that took place at the Sant’Ana Palace today, the President of the Government announced a series of new measures for energy sustainability.

Given the recent legislation in the area of energy efficiency, the rules on energy performance of buildings and on indoor air quality have already been established, thus transposing the European directive into the regional legislation.  With these measures, the Government expects to increase the energy efficiency of buildings which are responsible for almost 40% of the electricity consumption.

As it is necessary to create conditions so that for the various entities may comply with the new obligations and given the importance ensuring consistency between different measures, Carlos César announced that “the revision of the current energy system for energy production from renewable sources will be submitted at the Parliament soon. The reduction of the minimum investment required to companies for one thousand Euros, the inclusion of Private Institutions of Social Solidarity among the beneficiaries, the simplification of procedures, the eligibility of costs resulting from the legal impositions – such as energy certification of buildings – and eliminate the sale limit of the electricity surplus to the public network in the case of investments for electricity production are the main changes in the legislation. The investments in solar panels will be supported according to the solar fraction of the equipment.”

Taking into account the need to have available qualified experts for the certification of buildings,    the Regional Government has promoted and organised two training courses. Another two intensive courses are currently taking place.

According to Carlos César, other measures were also implemented. “The electricity consumers in the Azores will soon receive the respective delivery point code, included in the electricity invoice, with which they may apply Micro-production system, commonly known as “Renewable in the Hour,” hence becoming not only consumers – in accordance with the new energy paradigm that encourages decentralised electricity production – but also producers and sellers of electricity to the public network.”

Furthermore, there are other measures under development, to be implemented soon. The President of the Government said that in the future “all new public buildings in the Region, or subsidised in more than 50% by public funds should incorporate electricity micro-generation systems in addition to the obligations concerning the energy certification system. The public buildings that have undergone energy audited, following a resolution of the Council of the Government, will implement the recommended corrections as soon as possible. The assessment of indoor air quality will take place next. After this procedure, the respective energy certification will be awarded. The same procedures will be applied to the buildings that have not undergone an energy audit.

The Regional Government also wants to develop electric mobility in the Azores. The Government is already developing the correspondent regulatory normative. The pilot stage, with the introduction of the first energy charging stations, should start in 2010, followed by an expansion and consolidation stage. Given that technology is under development and thus far from maturity, the establishment of a partnership with the organisation in charge of developing the Electric Mobility Programme in Portugal, in order to achieve an integrated and compatible solution, ensuring the standardisation of the service throughout the national territory.

Smart networks, telemetry and the end of billing estimate, smart electricity meters or the energy-box, in addition to having many possibilities beyond counting such as the case of consumption management; they are already developed solutions at an implementation and expansion stage. The InovGrid project, developed by a national consortium, is now a success regarding the modernisation of networks, metering and energy management. According to the President of the Government the “negotiations are taking place with the Government's commitment so that the EDA, and the Regional Agency for Energy and the Environment, in cooperation with the consortium in charge for the project, may develop and implement it on our islands.”

The Plan for 2010 includes the creation of a Sustainable Energy System based on high levels scientific and technical knowledge in order to enhance potential of the endogenous resources, turning our Archipelago into a reference Region in the domain of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.

The protocol now signed, according to Carlos César, “fulfils our commitment.” For   the president of Government “the Green Islands programme, which is the pilot project in the area of Sustainable Energy Systems of the MIT-Portugal, based on various higher education institutions, associated laboratories, research centres and State laboratories, aims to demonstrate systems that enhance the use of renewable energies; therefore, taking advantage of smart energy networks, adequate transport systems, building energy efficiency schemes, management technologies based on active search as well as the management of the integration of electric vehicles in the electricity network. The University of the Azores was chosen as a local partner.

This is a large-scale project, involving multiple research teams, being of transverse nature. It is a project whose success will contribute to make the Azores more modern, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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