Renewable energies in irrigation sector as climate change mitigation strategy

Spanish Director General of Rural Development and Forestry Policy, Esperanza Orellana, recently underlined the commitment to clean energy and the gradual introduction of renewable energy in the irrigation sector. She pointed out that the objective had to be to reduce dependency on conventional energy sources, reduce the cost of energy and reduce CO2 emissions as a climate change mitigation strategy.

All of this is in line with targets set in Brussels, whereby 20% of energy consumption must come from clean sources by 2020, 4 percentage points higher than at present.

Orellana, who was inaugurating a seminar organised by the Ministry on renewable energies in irrigation, highlighted the role of renewables in the process of decarbonising the economy, a process that features as an objective in the forthcoming legislation on climate change and energy transition.

The Director General highlighted the profound process of modernisation undergone in the area of irrigation in recent decades. She pointed out that modernisation of irrigation systems had been undertaken on a surface area of over 1.5 million hectares, and had required great investment and enormous efforts on the part of the actors involved.

Orellana explained that wind energy, the renewable energy with the longest history of use in irrigation, had achieved very little penetration in the sector, while the implementation of solar photovoltaic energy in agriculture, particularly irrigation, was now a reality in terms of small scale application on farms where the power requirements for water supply were low.