"We're talking about 18,000 hectares, it's 0.2 percent of the country. It is not about covering the country with panels, that is not going to happen", said the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, João Galamba, during a sectorial debate dedicated to the policies of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action.
The Secretary of State stressed that the country needs to take advantage of the wealth that is solar energy. "Every day that we postpone the installation of solar projects in Portugal is another day that we burn gas," he said.
João Galamba also denied that all photovoltaic energy production projects will be approved, explaining, as Environment Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes also did, that projects above a certain size will have to be subject to an environmental impact assessment.
Photovoltaic panels, the secretary of State also said, do not cause heating in the places where they are installed and "if they are well designed it is possible to make large-scale projects compatible with the protection of biodiversity and nature.
The construction of all structures related to solar energy will be made "with all environmental care", João Pedro Matos Fernandes also guaranteed.
On an afternoon entirely dedicated to environmental policies, the second part of the debate in the plenary focused heavily on the discussion of renewable energies, with the government team guaranteeing that solar parks will lower the price of energy in Portugal.