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Ponta Delgada ,  April 03, 2017

Research and development applied to geothermal energy is strategic commitment of the Government, says Marta Guerreiro

The Regional Energy Secretariat, Environment and Tourism stated in Ponta Delgada that one the Government's priorities is the strategic focus on sustainability and the endogenous potential of the archipelago. It is estimated that, by 2021, 34% of electricity production in the Region is from geothermal sources.
"Currently, geothermal production on São Miguel represents 43% of the overall electricity production on the island and 23% of the overall energy production in the archipelago. These figures reflect the full potential of several renewable energy sources on the largest island of the archipelago, which has largely prevented CO2 emissions in the last year, “said Marta Guerreiro at the presentation of IMAGE project - Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration.
The two geothermal power plants on São Miguel have an installed capacity of 23 MW. The Ribeira Grande Plant has an installed capacity of 13 MW while Pico Vermelho Plant has a capacity of 10 MW. This island is expected to increase its capacity by 5 MW over the next three years.
The new geothermal plant on Terceira Island will enter into operation in May; its installed capacity is at 3.5 MW.
"Geothermal energy has multiple uses and should not be solely used for electricity production, the so-called high enthalpy, but may be used as a heat source - low enthalpy," stressed the Regional Secretary.
The IMAGE consortium, presented today, is an example of international cooperation that will allow geothermal fields of Ribeira Grande, São Miguel and Pico Alto (Terceira) to be tested in order to validate new methodologies and improve the use of these natural and endogenous resources.
For Marta Guerreiro, all research and development projects, such as IMAGE, which will improve existing geothermal prospecting methods and test new geological prospecting methods, are important allies in the enhancement of the geothermal potential of the Azores by promoting the innovation and competitiveness of the archipelago.
"For this reason, the Regional Government has actively and effectively participated in the development of European programmes as well as projects involving innovation, research and development in the field of energy, namely in areas that include the Region's natural and endogenous resources; special emphasis should be given to geothermal energy. This will contribute to the international projection of the Azores as the ideal environment to test solutions in the energy sector, collecting knowledge and attracting investment," stressed Marta Guerreiro.



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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