The pilot project to create a Renewable Energy Community in Culatra, which is being promoted by C-Coop, within the scope of the project Breech2030, won the Green Prizes from the magazine Visão e Águas Portugal, in the Green Energies category.
The award was given to Jóni dos Santos, president of C-Coop – Cooperativa para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Ilha da Culatra, the promoter of the project “Culatra 2030 – Comunidade Energética Sustentável”, approved by ERSE in January 2023, and André Pacheco, coordinator of the Culatra2030 initiative and researcher at the Center for Marine and Environmental Research at the University of Algarve, at a ceremony that took place in Lisbon, on Monday, the 5th.
According to André Pacheco, this prize «signifies the recognition of civil society for the work carried out at the Fishing Center of Ilha da Culatra in favor of the environmental sustainability of the territory».
“Above all, it is an incentive for C-Coop, formed exclusively by people from Culatra, a cooperative that will capitalize on the results of Culatra2030, to continue on the path started in 2019”, he added.
For the coordinator of Culatra2030, public recognition of good practices «unites the community around a common goal and is fundamental for Culatra to adapt sustainably to the territory it inhabits, in the middle of the Ria Formosa Natural Park».
This adaptation involves «finding new mechanisms of social and environmental responsibility, such as the creation of a decentralized market for renewable energy on the island, good circular economy practices, water and waste management», making Culatra «more resilient to future climate change scenarios'.
The “Culatra 2030 – Sustainable Energy Community” project already has five photovoltaic installations that cover 25% of the island's energy needs, an electricity storage unit and a boat powered by solar energy. This project also includes a water waste management model, in addition to creating new social responsibility mechanisms.
Ilha da Culatra is one of the six pilot islands that will receive support from the European Secretariat for clean energy on islands. The creation of an Energy Transition Agenda on this island of Ria Formosa, in the Algarve, will position the region as a center of excellence in research and training in renewable energies.
It is also intended to create effective bridges between the local community, research in the renewable sector and companies, promoting environmental sustainability and the adaptation of the island to climate change.
At the same ceremony, Joana Schenker from the Algarve received an honorable mention in the Inspiration category, thanks to her “Schenker School Tour” project, within the scope of which, and with the support of the Oceano Azul Foundation and Oceanário de Lisboa, her lectures reached «a more than 12.700 students across the country, inspiring and bringing thousands of young people closer to ocean-related topics», according to the Associação Bodyboard Sagres.
This was the 2nd edition of the Green Awards, which, according to their promoters, are intended "to award individual people, companies and organizations that stand out in Portugal in the area of the environment".
Another objective of the initiative is “to recognize, disseminate and reward good practices and examples of excellence that stand out for their contribution to the environment and sustainable development, within the framework of the current climate emergency”.