The Xunta de Galicia announced today that it will present to the European Commission (EC) an “eco-neighborhood” project in the Ourense district of A Ponte, which will affect 20,000 residents and 35 public buildings and aims to become a reference for energy efficiency in the European Union.
“A project that can not only be a reference in Spain, but also in the European Union,” the commissioner told us, “the president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, told the press after meeting in Brussels with the European commissioner. of Energy and Climate Action, the Spanish Miguel Árias Cañete.
This “eco-neighborhood” will extract “energy from the ground, geothermal energy and also biomass, to distribute hot water and heating for 35 public buildings in a single network” and the Xunta will try to “help all those interested and all private buildings to reduce their energy consumption and building envelope facades (insulation) to improve energy efficiency “.
If it is carried out, renewable energy can be supplied to 20,000 people and health centers, primary and secondary education, an industrial estate, bus and AVE stations, sports facilities with heated swimming pools, a grocery store and the Post Office. He said.
In addition, it will allow “to change all street lighting lamps in that neighborhood,” added Núñez Feijóo, who also addressed the matter today with the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, the Portuguese Carlos Moedas.
The initiative is in line with the spirit of the new European legislation, the so-called “winter package”, to reduce polluting emissions by 40% in relation to 1990.
This is intended to ensure that at least 27% of energy consumption in the EU countries comes from renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by 30%, which will lead to a decrease in the electricity bill of public buildings.
The president of the Xunta will officially present the draft project next June and, before the end of 2017, its final version.
It will be then when the needs and modalities of financing will be specified through funds of the European Investment Plan, the so-called Juncker Plan, soft loans from the Official Credit Institute (ICO) and other European funds.
Núñez Feijóo did not want to specify yet the economic scope of the project to transform A Ponte into an “eco-neighborhood”, but pointed out that it is an initiative inspired by the Ile de Re French, located next to the town of La Rochelle, in the west of the country, and in which they invested “some 40 or 50 million euros for their ecological transformation”.
Beyond that initiative, Feijóo and Árias Cañete discussed preliminarily in a “meeting three months ago in Santiago” and that has the support of the Energy Commissioner, the Galician president took the opportunity to discuss other current issues.
“He is our reference commissioner and the first Spanish authority
the European Commission”, so other issues that Galicia wants the commissioners school to know about were also discussed, said Núñez Feijóo.
Among them, the following scenario of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with a view to the incorporation of “small and sustainable livestock farms” or “demographic challenges” and their impact on future European cohesion funds, he said.
They also addressed the Smart Specialization Strategy of the EC in which Galicia collaborates with Portugal, which is endowed with more than 350 million euros of financing and which the European Commission considers “a model of cross-border cooperation,” according to Núñez Feijóo.
Finally, the Galician president said that the other great reason for his visit to Brussels is “to lead the representation of more than 60 Galician companies in the world exhibition of fishing products that starts from tomorrow in Brussels”, called SeaFood.