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The Speech of his Excellency Miguel Sanz Sesma.

Redacci贸n 26 enero 2009 Noticias
Imagen de The Speech of his Excellency Miguel Sanz Sesma.
A continuación, el discurso íntegro del presidente Sanz en la Universidad de Harvard. En la invitación se anunciaba que al final de la conferencia habría una degustación de vinos. Pues bien, ya les advertimos antes del discurso que nada de nada de vinos al final. Al parecer, el organizador no estaba al tanto de que el alcohol se encuentra terminantemente prohibido en el recinto universitario. Sin excepciones.

El presidente dio la conferencia en español, pero los asistentes recibieron una copia del discurso en inglés. Esta es la transcripción literal de dicha copia:

SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY MIGUEL SANZ SESMA, PRESIDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF NAVARRE, ON RENEWABLE ENERGIES

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

I am grateful for the opportunity provided by this Conference to explain the importance of implementing renewable energies for the Spanish Community of Navarre and to give you some figures on how we have attained our current position as one of the leading regions in the European Union and the world in the field of renewable energies.

The Statutory Community of Navarre is located in Northern Spain and shares a border with South-western France through the Pyrenees. It has a surface area of slightly over 4,000 sq mi accounting for 2% of the surface area of Spain-and a population of slightly over 600,000.

Pennsylvania Surface area: 46,055 sq mi (33rd largest State in the U.S.) Population: 12,432,792 (sixth most populated State in the U.S.)

As you can see, it is a small region. However, it has become a world reference in renewable energies , particularly in wind energy. Navarre has 38 wind farms which hold 1,100 windmills. Their white blades propelled by the wind supply 65% of the region’s power requirements and, in view of constant advances in equipment performance, this figure can be expected to increase over the next few years.

Our forecasts are that, by 2010, 75% of Navarre’s electrical power needs will be met by renewable energies. We can compare this figure with the goal marked by the European Union for 2010, which is 29%, or with the process envisaged by the U.S. Department of Energy before the election of Barak Obama, aimed to reach a figure of 20% by 2030.

Installed wind power in Navarre amounts to 917 megawatts, higher than that of several European countries, such as Greece, which totals 871 IVIW, Sweden , with 788 MW, Belgium with 287 MW, Poland with 276 MW, the Czech Republic with 116 MW and Finland with 110 MW. Europe has a total of 57 ,136 MW.

Anyone observing these figures may wonder why they came to be . How has Navarre attained this unique position? To explain the process, we have to go back twenty-five years, to the 1980s, when Navarre, a region that has traditionally enjoyed considerable self-government and a strong industrial sector, realized that its dependence on external energy was clearly excessive and an obstacle to the region’s economic development.

Therefore, the region designed its own Energy Plan, aimed at reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. It thus made a firm commitment to the sustainable use of its own renewable resources, such as wind, sun, water and biomass.

The goal was established but it was necessary to attain it. Thus, the Government of Navarre, in cooperation with institutions dedicated to the region’s development, such as Caja Navarra Savings Trust, Sodena, and other companies interested in future projects, among these Iberdrola and Cementos Portland, created the company Energia Hidroelectrica de Navarra. This company was initially created to develop small hydroelectric power plants but, over time, it became a major power in all renewable energies and today it continues operations as an industry leader under the name Acciona.

In Navarre, the joint efforts of the public company SODENA and the private companies Vestas and Gamesa, gave rise to Gamesa Eolica, which today enjoys a significant presence in Navarre, an aspect which I personally find particularly satisfying .

Gamesa is currently one of the world’s leading multinational renewable energy companies. Its core business focuses on the design and manufacture of wind turbines and the construction of "turn-key" wind farms for other companies and for its own operations. Gamesa is one of the world’s top three wind turbine manufacturers, with a market share above 15% in 2007. The company has installed over 13,000 MW of its main product lines in 24 countries, and four continents.

With headquarters in Spain, the company has branch offices in the United States (Pennsylvania) and China. It has 32 production centers in Europe, Asia and the United States and an international workforce of 7,000 employees. In the United States, it has industrial plants in Pennsylvania. In Europe, it manufactures windmills in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France and Denmark. In Asia, its plant is located in China.

The history of Navarre’s success in the field of renewable energies began fourteen years ago. Among the factors that have contributed to this success are the leadership of the Regional Government, the commitment of private companies with their investments and, most importantly, the involvement of the people of Navarre.

In 1994, we installed the first wind farm in EI Perdon, a small mountain range close to Pamplona that can be seen from the city. This visibility brought the population -which already had a high level of environmental awareness in a region that leads the country in areas such as waste recycling-closer to the concept of renewable energy.

Today, there are practically no students in the city that have not visited a wind farm, and thousands of Navarrese have become shareholders of the socalled "solar farms". In Navarre, renewable energies are not perceived as something imposed but as something that has been developed with the full backing and, I would dare to say, upon the demand of the citizens.

Later, in November 1997, the King and Queen of Spain inaugurated the largest wind farm in Europe, located in the Sierra de Guerinda, which was followed by other major developments in renewable energies such as solar energy, biomass, biofuels, biogas and hydrogen. Major transportation and distribution infrastructures have been built and there have been several awareness-raising initiatives on energy savings and efficiency.

I would also like to underscore the installation in Navarre in 2002 of the Spanish National Center of Renewable Energies, developed by the Government of Navarre and national institutions in the fields of energy and innovation .

In the fall of 2008, the King and Queen of Spain returned to Navarre to inaugurate the Wind Turbine Testing Laboratory at the Spanish National Center of Renewable Energies. This facility is unique in its size and the power of its machinery as well as in the full range of services offered in a single location, as it includes six state-of-the-art testing centers.

Navarre employs a comprehensive approach to renewable energies that goes beyond considering them a mere source of clean energy. Regional policies include items such as economic aspects, innovation, training, employment and territorial balance. Thus, the renewable energy sector constitutes a prime socioeconomic driver in Navarre.

In fact, renewable energies have formed a new economic sector that currently consists of almost 100 companies and provides employment for over 7,000 people. Renewables contribute 5% to Navarre’s GDP.

As far as environmental benefits are concerned, since 2000, clean energies have avoided atmospheric emissions of over 20 million tons of C02.

Our energy policy is not only concerned with generating non-polluting energy -energy savings is another of its basic pillars-. I can also provide you with some significant figures regarding this.

Today I would like to announce for the first time that, during the last few years, Navarre has broken the trend that began in the 1990s of accumulating an annual growth in energy consumption of about 3% -a figure that often surpassed the growth of the GDP-.

This is not an isolated figure but something that consolidates the figures of 2006 and 2007, when our region experienced significant economic growth.

Compared to average annual increases in energy consumption of 3% between 1995 and 2005, during the last two years, Navarre’s energy requirements have barely risen by 0.4% and 1.3% respectively.

The energy savings achieved by Navarre during the last few years is owed to the Energy Savings and Efficiency Plan that is part of Navarre’s Energy Plan Horizon 2010.

In 2008, the Energy Savings and Efficiency Plan represented an investment of 4 million euros (financed by the Spanish Government and Navarre) and the application of 19 energy saving measures in all areas of society. The most important measures are:

• In the area of Housing: improved thermal insulation of buildings (grants for replacing windows, roofing, boilers, etc.).

• In Industry grants for carrying out energy audits.

• In Transportation: grants for collective transportation in buses for employees of companies located in industrial parks and audits of the management of transportation fleets .

• Most city and town councils in Navarre have renewed street lighting.

• Grants are also offered for the purchase of electric vehicles.

Efficient driving courses are offered to citizens and there is an initiative in place to provide grants for replacing old home appliances with newer, more energy-efficient ones.

This way, Navarre has stabilized its energy consumption for the first time since 2005 and reduced by more than 50% its growth in energy consumption during the last two years. We have thus shown that it is possible for the economy to grow without necessarily increasing energy consumption.

This was understood by the European Union which in 2003 distinguished Navarre’s energy policy as the best regional policy in fostering renewables. Navarre has extensive experience in wind energy that can serve as a model for other regions and other countries and this has turned into a major source of services related to renewable energies.

This is the reason why I would like to publicly tender at this conference Navarre’s offer to institutions and corporations in other regions and countries to explain the process that has turned it into a pioneering and dynamic region in this field.

We are certain that the more renewable energy promotion policies are intensified in all countries, the closer we will be to a better world.

Thank you!

January, 2009.

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