Promotion Of Hydroelectric Exploitations

Original Language Title: Promoção dos aproveitamentos hidroeléctricos

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1 draft resolution No. 197/X (promotion of hydroelectric exploitations) Portugal continues, even today, to depend on in about 80% to 90% of the energy that matters, while domestic consumption of electricity has been growing in the last decade, the annual average has been hanging around the 5% to 6%, particularly in the sectors of services and accommodation.

The European Commission approved in the year 2001, General guidelines for energy policy within the European Union, on the horizon of 2010, which pointed to this date 12% of all production should come from renewable resources.

In the framework of Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September, on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market, the European Union also established, for Portugal, the percentage of 39% as the quantitative target to be achieved by our Country in the year 2010 reference alluded to.

Despite all the significant investments that have been made in more recent times, in particular at the level of the segments and solar wind, is fundamental, so that our country can come to meet with the goal to which it linked as a Member State of the European Union, to promote, at the same time, the increase in energy production from hydropower plants.

Indeed, even with the entry into operation of large enterprises the Alqueva hydroelectric and low Taste and strengthening the power of 2 New Sales potentials and is safe today that does not tear off will reach our country such a target of 39%.

Although hydroelectricity is currently the main source of national renewable energy, the fact is that the percentage of the full potential your utilization is still only 58%.

Combined all the abovementioned restrictions and having to always take into account the best possible defense of various environmental components and the sustainability of the use of natural resources, everything suggests that, given the available technologies, bet our country in a very short period and in particular, on enhancing the production of electrical energy, particularly through the use of small hydropower plants – also known as mini-hydro.

To get a quick idea, but reliable, the State of this renewable energy sub-sector would tell that from the beginning of the decade there were about 90 of 1,600 applications for licensing of these mini-centrais, and since then only been constructed approximately of 50.

Meanwhile, our partners in the European Union countries, such as France, Italy and Germany took advantage of already practically all your water potential for energy production. And right here beside us, the neighbor Spain has already 85% of your wealth in full production.

On 24 January, a monthly debate in Parliament, the Prime Minister said the purpose of the our country achieve, by the year 2010, not only the European Union track level of 39% of all electricity consumed in Portugal be renewable source, but a level of 45%. And considered as "critical in this area" the hydropower. Reasoning about the situation of this energy sub-sector the head of Government has recognized that "54% of our water potential is for leverage, at the same time, paradoxically, are one of the countries where hydro installed capacity grew less than 3 in the last 30 years". What, in all attest the already very low service levels, referred to by the public administration, presented by the requirements for the installation of energy production units from above all mini-hydro plants.

Having gone through this political speech, the Prime Minister, however, only objectified his purposes in large hydropower, in particular, on enhancing the production capacity of the plant, and tear off Alqueva and accelerating "pace of construction of new dams", by drawing up a global plan of dams ", in order to" achieve more 1,300 MW of hydro power. "

Now, however, mini-hydro plants, for its characteristics of size, less relevance of environmental impacts that cause, by dispersability therefore allow the territory and can be also multiple purposes, a strong potential for modification of the local conditions and to the development of productive activities, constituting a powerful ally to the fixation of people and in consequence, in the fight against the desertification of the interior regions of our country. Among other advantages, this type of mini-centrais allows you to control the flow of the rivers and irrigation of the fields.

The current national panorama on the electrical production from water mini-centrais is the following: given the old concessions, 34 mini-hydro with a total power of 30 MW and 100 GWh/year, and 20 still the SENV (Electrical System not linked-EDP Group) with 56 MW and productivity of 165 GWh/year, total utilization is located in Central 98 corresponding to 256 MW of installed power and 815 GWh/year production.

Although it is difficult to estimate the potential of existing mini-hydro exploitation is possible point to values close to 1,000 MW, of which between 500 and 600 MW are obtained in a few years (until 2010), with an average production between 1,500 and 1,800 GWh/year. 4 in these terms, considering the maintenance of strong external energy dependence of our country;

-Considering that the objectives of Directive 2001/77/EC of 27 September and, in particular, the targets that have been signed our country in this new legal framework-politician;

-Whereas the production of energy through Hydro does not lead to the emission of Greenhouse Gases, contributing decisively to the before and fulfilment of commitments arising from the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change;

-Considering that only 58% of the total national hydroelectric potential is currently exploited;
-Considering the several advantages environmental, social, economic and technical that can result from increased hydroelectric production in our country, in particular those that relate to the overall management of all national electroprodutor system to guarantee the existence and strengthening of our water supply and, consequently, to combat desertification;

-Considering the recent announcement of the XVII constitutional Government in a clear bet on promotion of renewable energy and, in particular, water production, but only through big Centrals;

-Whereas, finally, the potential for electricity production from existing mini-hydro plants and exploring in our country, the Parliament recommends to the Government the adoption of measures: 5 a) the promotion of full energy use of our water resources through water mini-centrais;

b) when drawing up the announced "comprehensive plan of dams", to ensure that, where technically feasible, the prevalence of rural water in relation to large mini hydropower;

c) to streamline the procedures for the licensing of water mini-centrais, in particular by introducing time limits for all phases involved;

f) preparation and dissemination of a national mapping of the potential of energy potentials from water mini-centrais.

São Bento Palace, 20 March 2007.

The Members of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party,