The minister of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge of the Government of the Canary Islands, Pedro Ortega, has presented to the chairman of the Island Council of La Gomera, Casimiro Curbelo, the details of the project ‘La Gomera 100% Sustainable’, an initiative launched by the Ministry to promote and take full advantage of the natural conditions offered by the island as a world example of a sustainable energy system.
Pedro Ortega visited the island to analyze and agree with the chairman of the Island Council joint actions related to the socioeconomic development of La Gomera. Among the topics that were addressed, energy planning and its role in the set of actions that the Government is promoting to combat climate change stand out, through the development of renewables, the reduction of energy consumption through energy saving and efficiency measures and the use of less polluting fuels.
we have all the conditions to advance in this way
The minister assured that La Gomera is “an ideal island for the development of innovative projects related to renewable energies and the valorization of waste and has an important potential to become a natural laboratory for the testing and demonstration of pioneering projects in these areas”, following the trail of El Hierro or La Graciosa, where Gorona de Viento or the GRACIOSA project have become an international reference.
In this context, Ortega explained that the Ministry of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge has commissioned the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC) to perform a first analysis and diagnosis of the energy system of La Gomera in order to develop, in a second phase, a proposal that determines the technical and economic viability of a series of projects related to the promotion of renewables, including the implementation of the electric car on the island, the implementation of microgrids, and the habilitation of energy storage systems.
Casimiro Curbelo underlined the commitment of the Government of the Canary Islands with the execution of projects that facilitate the incorporation of clean energies in the island, since “we have all the conditions to advance in this way”. The chairman recalled that the Island Council has in place actions that prioritize energy sustainability, such as the creation of a network of charging points for electric vehicles, whose investment exceeds one million euros, or the project of providing photovoltaic energy to public buildings dependent on the insular institution.
Likewise, he placed value on the planning agreed during the meeting so that in this year a base document will be available gathering all the necessary projects for to advance in the development of an energy-sustainable island model. On the other hand, solutions related to the circular economy will be provided. In this area, the ITC will analyze the possibility of installing a biogas plant in the island’s environmental complex, which could later be used as fuel for the generation of electricity that would be injected into the insular electricity grid.
The objective, added the minister, “is that at the end of this year we can count on a starting document, in which we mark the work route and the main investments that should be promoted in La Gomera to be 100% sustainable”, to study possible ways of financing.
In addition, Ortega highlighted the steps that are being taken to boost savings in the energy consumption of public facilities on the island. In this regard, he stressed that only in 2017 his department supported a total grant of 546,530 euros for the development of 29 different projects in five municipalities of La Gomera. These were related to public lighting improvement works, including the replacement of luminaires, or to the development of energy audits of facilities or buildings dependent on the municipalities that indicate which improvements may be applied. Pedro Ortega said that the town councils of the island are some of the most active in this area and announced that soon the convocation for 2018 will be issued to apply energy saving measures and increase the use of renewables in public buildings and facilities.