"The current and planned work in Portugal in offshore [renewable energies at sea, such as wind or through wave energy] is remarkable, and the increase in interest from investors is promising", said Kadri Simson in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto.
The head of the European executive was speaking at the Great Summit of the Sustainability and Society Forum, which takes place today and Friday at the Matosinhos Town Hall.
According to the Estonian commissioner, Brussels "is working closely with the Member States to lead in offshore renewables", and wants to reach 111 gigawatts across the European Union in 2030, a value that reaches 317 in 2050, the which "will double the initial target for the end of this decade".
Kadri Simson also addressed the issue of reinforcing the electricity grids between Portugal and Spain, classifying it as a "challenge", but recalling that this investment has the status of a project of common interest and has "great potential".
"We are committed to further developing cross-border connections and keeping high priority projects running", she added, noting that this "will ensure that the market works well and that the Iberian Peninsula is better integrated into the European energy market".
At the forefront
As for renewable hydrogen, the European commissioner said that it is "another area where Portugal is at the forefront in Europe", making special reference to the port of Sines (district of Setúbal), which "has the potential to supply western Europe", which " aligns well with the Commission's plan to make Europe the first region with a full ecosystem to develop and commercialize renewable hydrogen".
"We want to produce ten million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in 2030, and import another ten million tonnes from third countries", said the Estonian official.
In the final part of her speech, Kadri Simson assured that the European Union "is resurfacing from the energy crisis with cautious optimism".
"We are on the right track, but certainly there are uncertainties that remain. Russia is unpredictable. We could have a very dry summer and a very hard and cold winter ahead of us, and China is re-emerging in the global market as a major importer of energy, after lifting its covid-19 restrictions", listed the commissioner.
Thus, the EU cannot "be complacent", she defended, praising the Portuguese objective of having 80% of energy produced through renewable sources in 2026 as "particularly commendable".