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Ponta Delgada ,  May 29, 2014

Penetration rate of renewable energy in the Azores should be at 53% by 2017, says Vítor Fraga

The Regional Secretary for Tourism and Transport said today that the investment in renewable energy will continue to be one of the Azores' major goals for the future in a plan for the long-term.

"Being a key component of the European energy strategy for the sector, renewable energy and energy efficiency play a crucial role in the transition to low carbon economies, which decreases the purchase and use of fossil fuels and reduces its impact on the environment," said Vítor Fraga.

Speaking at the opening of the seminar on Renewable Energies & Electric Mobility, the Regional Secretary stressed that, according to European legislation, the use of environmentally friendly energy sources in each Region should take local resources into consideration.

In this context, the government official noted the use of local resources for the production of electricity in the Azores, with "very positive" results.
"With the installation of hydro power plants during the last century, some of which are still operating after being technologically updated, we have started to use endogenous resources. Later on, we began to exploit geothermal and wind resources," stressed the government official.

As evidence that we are on the right path regarding our investment in green energy sources, Vítor Fraga reminded that the Azores comply with the Community directives of the 20-20-20 programme. It stipulates the goals towards the reduction of the purchase of fossil fuels and the environmental impact by 20%. The Region has reached a penetration rate of renewable energy of 20%.

"With these goals and actions, about 35% of the electricity produced in the Region was from renewable sources in 2013," the Regional Secretary stressed, adding that the Government plans to do more.

"Our ambition leads to do more and wishing for more. In this regard, we intend to further increase the penetration rate of renewable energies and the implementation of policies and incentive programmes to boost energy efficiency," said Vítor Fraga.

In this regard, the government official revealed that the Government plans to invest an amount over 85 million Euros in this area by 2017, which will increase the penetration rate of renewable energy to 53%.

"In addition to reducing the import of fossil fields, the investment will also prevent the emission of approximately 188 thousand tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2)," revealed the Regional Secretary. According to him, regions like the Azores, with separate subsystems that are limited each island, the major challenge concerns "the storage of energy produced from renewable sources."

In his speech, the government official also said that our ambitions to improve energy efficiency "are not limited to some measures; they meet our fundamental and strategic goals, which to increase the available income of families and boost the competitiveness of regional companies."

In this regard, Vítor Fraga reminded that the Regional Government has recently signed a protocol with two banks in order to promote and streamline the ProEnergia programme, whose implementation allows companies and families to make savings. Moreover, this measure also allows economically vulnerable families to benefit from discounts with Social Rates and ASECE.

In a future perspective, the Regional Secretary stated that we must consider the concept of sustainable cities, the implementation of smart grids and the mobility of electric vehicles; the latter being a means of transportation that has experienced a considerable development in recent years.

"The Azores will continue to take firm steps in this field as they have always done. Therefore, we count on your support as you may also rely on us," said Vítor Fraga.


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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