October 24, 2020

Energy to sow new opportunities in rural areas


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Renewable energies are a great opportunity to job creation in rural areas, as is the case in large communities like Aragon. They also involve the improvement of the quality of life of citizens, at a time of transition towards an economy free of emissions, with the use of cleaner energy. “The renewable energy sector is of vital importance for creating employment in rural areas, which requires investment to address the challenge of combating depopulation,” he says. Carlos Reyero, CEO of Florestalia. “The projects carry a high social profitability, which must be taken into account”, he emphasizes.

This Aragonese business group dedicated to renewable energy starts this year the processing of another 6,000 MW in Aragon, a volume that represents slightly more than two thirds of the power currently in service in the entire region, one of the leading territories in renewable energies and that will be even more so when this package of projects is completed. DWithin the new portfolio, the province that benefited the most is Teruel, with almost 3,000 MW and an investment of 2,400 million euros in the total of the province.

The almost 5,000 million investment that will involve the comprehensive development of this portfolio of projects become a promising lever for economic and social development for all of Aragon. It is estimated that the development of these 6 GW can generate around 25,000 jobs in the construction phase of photovoltaic and wind farms, and almost a thousand for exploitation, during the next three decades. Thanks to these investments, Forestalia estimates that the territory will benefit from an income of close to 1,000 million euros distributed over the next thirty years.

«Unrepeatable occasion»

“The occasion is unrepeatable”, summarizes Reyero, when assessing the current economic and social context, and the situation opened after Royal Decree-Law 23/2020, approved in June, on energy measures for economic reactivation. That opinion is based on a solid base of data and consummate achievements, since it has already promoted about 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, wind and biomass generation technology.

To promote the developments in the province of Teruel, the constitution of associations of municipalities is being fundamental, which will allow the benefits provided by the facilities to be socialized and shared directly by local communities, by prioritizing actions on public lands, as well as the creation of common funds that will be allocated to economic development policies and job creation, substantially improving the social and economic conditions of the neighbors and helping to fix the population.

The biomass generation plant in Cubillos del Sil (León)
The biomass generation plant in Cubillos del Sil (León)

Within this sensitivity for the rural environment, the company has paid special attention to the regions suffering from the coal mining crisis, such as the Teruel mining basins or El Bierzo, where the Cubillos del Sil (León) biomass power generation plant has already come into operation. The berciana plant is owned by Forestalia, the Public Infrastructure and Environment Society of Castilla y León (Somacyl) and Sodical Instituto Financiero, and involves more than 400 jobs, including activities related to the supply of agricultural and forestry biomass. The plant applies the most advanced technologies to optimize efficiency and minimize emissions.

Forestalia also has the largest pellet production plant in our country, Arapellet, in Erla (Zaragoza), with a capacity of 140 thousand tons per year, and manages Ribpellet (Huerta de Rey, Burgos), a veteran of the sector who will immediately benefit from new investments framed in a carefully elaborated improvement plan.

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