ENAEA2018 - New Energy and Environmental Challenges mark the national meeting of energy agencies
What are the challenges facing the country when we address the issue of Energy, how can we manage and monetize the available resources, and the role energy agencies can play were just some of the issues raised during ENAEA2018 - National Meeting of Energy and Environmental Agencies organized by RNAE, which took place at the Alcochete Cultural Forum on December 5 and 6. About 300 professionals participated in this meeting closed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Carlos Martins.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, who believes energy and the environment are areas that present nothing but potential advantages, began by stating that: "It is important to take advantage of sharing good experiences to disseminate good practices in our country regarding the function and central role that energy agencies can have due to their proximity to the territories and the very contexts where changes and transitions eventually take shape."
Bringing the two-day meeting to a close, in which several projects executed by energy agencies and other entities were shared and presented, and since there was also room for reflections on smart cities and upcoming challenges with the new management contracts and the new low voltage paradigm for managing distribution networks, Carlos Martins focused his intervention on two key areas: housing and transport.
"The way we design our internal water networks, how we manage waste in our cities, and how we promote recycling on different scales are themes often tied to the first experience of those who manage the territory in the simple process of licensing construction, which is nonetheless so vital to ensuring our future", noted Carlos Martins, who also pointed out that Portugal is about to enter a new cycle of urban rehabilitation that must be especially mindful of this aspect of energy efficiency.
On transport, Carlos Martins recalled that this week saw the presentation of the 2050 roadmap for carbon neutrality, which will bring new challenges for Municipalities that must follow these more integrated readings of the territory and also promote this change through renovation, of municipal fleets, for example.
These concerns were also addressed by the Deputy Director-General for Energy and Geology, Maria José Espírito Santo, who during the opening session emphasized the existence of a set of dossiers under discussion, in which energy agencies will assume an important role.
"The low voltage electricity distribution concessions, the challenges that electric mobility itself will introduce in low voltage networks, the issue of charging vehicles and the possible impact this will have on the distribution network are challenges to which we are committed and I reiterate the full availability of the Directorate General for Energy and its leadership to listen to your concerns so that we can work together, because we have very ambitious goals between 2021 and 2030, with the implementation of the National Energy and Climate Plan."
Carlos Santos, the President of the Board of Directors of RNAE, the organising body behind this National Meeting, conveyed that about 70 % of the national territory is already covered by energy agencies, although there is work to be done with a view to covering the entire country, and stated that the great advantage of energy agencies is the proximity to the beneficiaries of their work, and that it is essential to support municipalities in decision making or in implementing measures that promote energy efficiency without increasing public investment.
The second day of the National Meeting was doubly important for RNAE, which signed a cooperation protocol with Grundfos Portugal, which will enable the promotion of energy efficiency in water pumping systems under the Energy Check programme developed by Danish company Grundfos.
This moment was formalized by the President of the Board of RNAE, Carlos Santos, the Vice-President of the Board of RNAE, Diamantino Conceição, the Grundfos Portugal representative, Bruno Carmo, and the Ambassador of Denmark to Portugal, Lars Faaborg-Andersen.
The role of municipalities in raising energy awareness.
The importance of Municipalities in raising awareness of the intelligent and rational use of energy was a common warning across the different interventions heard over these two days. On the other hand, this call to recognition was also accompanied by the observation that energy agencies are key partners for local authorities in the development of sustainable use projects, as well as in raising public awareness.
In addition to the intervention panels, the National Meeting of Energy and Environmental Agencies took place concomitantly with an exhibition of technologies and business activities by companies such as EDP Comercial, Engie Portugal, Qart, Soneres, Biohot, Carrier, GoParity / Ponto Energia, Helexia, Openplus, Weeecycle, Amarsul, Simarsul, InnoEnergy, DECO and the Seia Energy Savings Store.
Outside the Alcochete Cultural Forum, several car brands were also present (NISSAN, RENAULT, TOYOTA, LEXUS, HYUNDAI and KIA) offering test-drives of electric and plug-in vehicles.