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Renewable energy

WAYS OF using more renewable energy in Portugal was on the agenda at a meeting in the Algarve attended by the Secretary of State for Industry and Innovation, António Guerra.

With the country suffering from rising energy prices in recent years and figures indicating that 70 per cent of energy is generated from oil and gas reserves, the event at Lagos Cultural Centre discussed  the possibility of using renewable energy to power a significant sector of the country. 

The president of the conservation association Quercus, the Regional Energy and Environment Agency of the Algarve, David Loureiro from the National Institute of Engineering, Technology and Innovation, along with Portuguese experts in the field of renewable energy attended the meeting to discuss the future of Portugal’s fuel resources.

Gradually, Portugal has begun to use alternative energy sources. Naturally occurring elements, such as wind, sun and water, will be used to produce power with less poisonous bi-products being emitted into the atmosphere.

Portugal has 121 wind farms with 767 machines generating 10 per cent of the country’s electricity.

By 2010, the government is confident that renewable energy sources will provide 35 per cent of Portugal’s electricity.

There are wind turbines in a wind farm located in the Vila do Bispo area, which convert energy into electricity, but, alone, cannot provide enough energy to fulfil the consumption needs of the Algarve as a whole.

The feasibility of installing offshore wind farms and tidal power stations in the Algarve (see March 17 edition of The Resident) is being investigated, in a conscious effort for the region to become environmentally aware, and reduce the reliance on gas and oil for power.

Tomorrow (September 16), there will be a demonstration of eco-friendly cars in the Praça do Infante in Lagos, all powered by solar energy.

There will also be an exhibition of Honda’s hybrid car, powered by petrol and electricity, which will be driven to the Praça do Infante to show spectators how environmentally friendly vehicles work.