The objective of this scientific meeting is to analyze the formulas for reducing energy costs and taking advantage of irrigation facilities for energy production
The President of Navarra, Yolanda Barcina Angulo, presided this morning the opening ceremony of the First National Congress on Irrigation and Renewable Energy, held on November 16 and 17 at the Baluarte Conference Centre of Pamplona, organized by the Government of Navarra through the Navarra Institute of Agro-Food Technologies and Infrastructures. INTIA (Irrigation Division) and the National Centre for Renewable Energies (CENER).
The objective of this scientific meeting is to analyze the formulas for reducing energy costs and taking advantage of irrigation facilities for energy production.
The President was accompanied at the opening of The Congress, by the mayor of Pamplona, Enrique Maya, the Minister for Rural Development, Industry, Employment and Environment, Lourdes Goicoechea, The CENER technical director, Fernando Sanchez, and the manager of INTIA Irrigation Division, Miguel Horta.
President Barcina called irrigation “a strategic asset” and recalled that the start up of the Canal of Navarra has served to put into operation 22,000 hectares of irrigation in the last four years, she recalled the increase in energy prices in irrigation systems and stressed the need to develop new forms of energy production to be applied in the agricultural section.
In this sense, concluded the President, “it is no coincidence that the Government of Navarra and CENER are the driving forces behind this conference”. It’s a real need that will benefit both sectors; agriculture and industry, opening lines of mutual collaboration.
Irrigation systems and renewable energy in Navarra
In Navarra, the renewable energy sector comprises over 100 companies, some international, leading the way forward in the industry in the development of wind farms and manufacturing wind turbines and components and providing 5% of Gross Value Added Community , maintain about 5,000 jobs and have a turnover of 3,500 million annually. Renewable energy sources cover 81% of electricity consumption in Navarra, which, in 2009, meant that only during one of four days was electricity generated by non-renewable sources consumed.
The agri-food sector of Navarra has a turnover of around €3,300 million a year, of which 2,500 million correspond to the processing industry and 800 million in the primary sector. The sector comprises 1,200 companies and 24,000 farms, employing 28,000 people.
In the past 40 years, the irrigated area has increased by 2.5 in Navarra but energy expenditure has increased by 19, at the moment, almost 2% of energy expenditure in Spain is produced through irrigation.
Reducing energy consumption is one of the objectives of the Energy Plan II of Navarra and the combination of renewable energy and the agri-food industry, will help first, to reduce the sector´s production costs and mitigate the sector’s carbon footprint, and secondly, open a new possibility of the development of the renewable energy sector which in 2020 should cover 20% of the total expenditure in Europe and 10% of transport consumption.
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