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Posted by portugalpress on October 22, 2018

Portugal needs to invest around €20 billion if it’s going to reach its target of producing all the energy it needs through renewable sources by 2040.

So says António Sá da Costa, president of APREN - the national association of renewable energies - who stresses it is time to “increase the rhythm of growth in new centrals, which has almost stopped in the last three years”.

With hopes daring to believe the government could be taking renewable energies more to heart now that it has transferred responsibility for them to the environment ministry, Algarve climate change activists are also pushing for clarification on where national policies are going.

In the south, PALP - the anti oil platform of environmental NGOs - wants assurances that there will be no drilling for oil or natural gas, either this year, next - or indeed at any point in the future.

In Lisbon, APREN is warning that the country has to move much more quickly to get up to speed.

“We need to install renewable centrals so that the increase of renewable electricity reaches 1.4 TWh/ year”, said Sá da Costa.

That is 2.3 times the rhythm of the last 3o years, he said.

For now, natural gas, coal, fossil cogeneration and other fossil-based sources are responsible for 58% of energy produced in Portugal.

As for Socialist plans for 2019 State Budget, these include “widening surcharges on the energy sector to include renewables”.

This will send investors running, warns Sá da Costa, and simply see businesses in the sector taking the State to court.

“We have a plan for the country that involves decarbonising the economy”, he stressed. “We have an objective defined by Prime Minister António Costa who wants the country to be carbon neutral by 2050. However, we import about 10 billion euros of fossil fuels. The only alternative is to increase the share of renewables. One-off measures like taxing renewables over fossils do not seem to me to be the right policy”, he stressed.

And in the absence of selective debate on measures within the State Budget, the government’s true position regarding the promotion of renewables is still unclear.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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