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PROMOTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN NORTHERN PORTUGAL AND GALICIA’S AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY

12 - 08 - 2019
A new project is about to kick-off focusing on Northern Portugal and Galicia’s aquaculture sector. The goal? To develop sustainable energy solutions and specific tools to improve the competitiveness and growth potential of this industry.

The ACUAENERGY project will count with the participation of INEGI and five other partners in a consortium focusing on a cross-border approach to answer the region’s need to revitalize the economic fabric associated with fishing. Moreover, with similar geographical characteristics, the Portuguese and Galician industries have been evolving in parallel, with many companies operating in both regions.

In this context, the industries of both countries also share challenges, including the weight of energy consumption in production, in activities such as mobilizing seawater to land (in the case of offshore production) or controlling water temperature. "Electricity consumption represents between 30 and 60% of the total costs of aquaculture production. This is why it is an important vector for the sector's competitiveness", explains Aida Sanches, who is responsible for the project at INEGI.

"Optimizing energy consumption through energy management models and new technologies adapted to the requirements of production structures and species will minimize production costs and also reduce the environmental impact of this activity", she adds.

In line with the growing need to reduce emissions, the consortium aims to focus on renewable energy and production technologies for self-consumption, also aiming to create new market opportunities for energy companies.

At this early stage in the project, the work groups will focus on characterizing the current situation in the sector and assessing their needs. In Portugal, energy audits and interviews will be carried out by INEGI, who will be responsible for mapping the energy profile of the national industry.

Subsequently, the project foresees the study of the adaptation of the most promising solutions and technologies, and the development of prototypes of specialized solutions. INEGI will participate in the development of new energy models and the economic analysis for their implementation, and will also be responsible for proposing new administrative policies.

Knowledge and technological innovation that the consortium intends to transfer to industry in the final phase of the initiative, through dissemination actions and specialized training.

The ACUAENERGY project is funded by the INTERREG Spain-Portugal program (POCTEP).