Energy Secretary João Galamba, announced this Tuesday at the Hannover Messe industrial fair, in Germany, that the auction of offshore wind energy that the Government has planned for 2023 "will happen as soon as possible and will be large, with a capacity between 6 and 8 GW". It will be an auction "more complex than the others, because it involves industrialization of ports," and so the Government wants to "start work as soon as possible."
With solar and onshore wind energy technologies "already mature," Galamba says it is now time to bet on offshore to accelerate the energy transition.
"We are going to make this assessment and launch the offshore energy auction as soon as possible because in view of the huge electricity needs that we are going to have associated with it, we should also look offshore. It is an alternative. The cost reduction of floating technology is happening and accelerating," he said, guaranteeing that the interest exists and the government has been meeting with the world's largest companies in this sector that are interested in coming to Portugal, such as the Spanish Iberdrola, the Danish Orsted, the Luso-French EDP/Engie consortium and even German companies.
Read also North Sea wants to be Europe's green power plant by 2050 "The fact that Portugal has electricity grid infrastructures along the coast, which will be strengthened in the coming years, allows the extensive use of this technology in the future," he said in his speech before an audience of Portuguese and German businessmen.
The responsible for the energy portfolio, a sector that is highlighted in the world's largest industrial fair, which in 2022 has Portugal as a guest country, also promised that the government will speed up the licensing for solar photovoltaic and renewable gas projects, such as green hydrogen, among others.
"In wind licensing we have faster processes than in other countries. Last month we simplified the procedures and shortened the deadlines for licensing for solar, where everything was going to APA and clogged up, and for hydrogen," he said. In addition, Brussels wants to see renewable projects move forward quickly and has decreed that all, without exception, are of "public interest" and override all others, with more simplified rules.
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Galamba also announced that in the context of REpowerEU and the "Go to Areas" created by the new EU plan will be launched a pilot project in Sines, "where we have a number of projects [from the data center, the refinery, the Repsol project, the project of Fusion Fuel, EDP, among others] that need a lot of solar and wind". In practice, he explains, he now has two years to "identify the areas of the territory with hypersimplified licensing, which cannot take more than a year.
"We will evaluate with APA and ICNF these areas with reduced environmental impact, where a strategic environmental assessment will be made. The projects in these areas will not have an environmental impact assessment," he clarified.
The journalist traveled to Hannover at the invitation of aicep