The Algarve University’s ‘Culatra 2030 – Sustainable Energy Community’ project being run with the Culatra Island Residents Association has been selected by the Secretary for Clean Energy for EU Islands to be a test base for localised renewable energy production.
Technical solutions will be discussed with groups of experts, including researchers, business associations and business sector technicians in a debate with the residents.
This should result in the design of a renewable energy production and storage system, with any surplus production being used for desalination of water and waste treatment.
Culatra Island is part of a protected area in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, and since this territory is managed by different entities with responsibilities for planning and environmental quality opinions, it will be no easy task to get this project going.
The island is an ideal place to test a new circular economic model that promotes the environmental sustainability of the island and the need to adapt to climate change as it is low lying.
The Paris Agreement recognised that islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change and highly dependent on fossil fuels and energy imports.
The European Commission’s initiative has three main objectives: to promote energy self-sufficiency for the islands; encourage the reduction of dependence on imported fossil fuels, alleviating the pressure exerted on public budgets; and to offer the best available and tailored solutions on a case-by-case basis with a view to promoting renewable energy for the islands.