lightbulb with small plant on soil and sunshine. concept saving energy in nature

The agricultural sector is responsible for approximately 100,000 direct jobs in the Murcia Region, as well as 20% of its Gross Domestic Product.

The development and evolution during the last decades of both climate change and its devastating consequences for the environment, factors repeatedly put on the scene by international organizations such as the WHO (World Health Organization), the EEA (European Environment Agency) or the IEA (International Energy Agency), make the implementation of renewable energy in societies more important than ever.

“Specialists in the agri-food sector share their vision about the advantages of solar energy, agreeing that the consequences of climate change make the implementation of alternative energy sources a necessity”

One of the clearest examples of these natural energy sources aimed at alleviating the negative consequences of climate change on our planet is photovoltaic energy, accessible through the use of solar panels. To address the different applications of the use of these photovoltaic panels in the agricultural sector, as well as the strategies carried out to obtain a sustainable rural development, the newspaper La Opinion and ANPIER (National Association of Producers and Investors of Renewable Energies) collaborated in the past Friday for the celebration of a virtual panel of experts.

This table, moderated by Alejandro Lorente, editor of La Opinion, had the participation of specialists from the agri-food sector and renewable energies such as Antonio Luengo, Minister of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment of the Region of Murcia; Miguel Ángel Martínez-Aroca, director in solar fields of ANPIER; Carlos Montoya, head of the Solar Department of the IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving); Santiago Martínez, president of FECOAM (Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of the Region of Murcia) and Miguel Padilla, president of COAG (Coordinator of Farmers and Livestock Organizations) Murcia.

Ministry of Environment

Antonio Luengo Zapata, maximum representative of the Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment of the Region of Murcia, wanted to make clear the support that the regional government provides to the primary sector, responsible for approximately 100,000 direct jobs and the 20% of the Region’s GDP, through collaboration in technical matters and through financial aid: «A total of 750,000 euros has been allocated from this Ministry for the granting of aid for the improvement of energy efficiency and generation of renewable energy in different communities of irrigators, “said Luengo.

The Region of Murcia has more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, which encourages institutions to make the most of solar energy, which stands as a basic pillar on the road to the energy transition and the decarbonization of the economy. During his participation in the panel of experts, the counselor also recalled the implementation last June of the strategy for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, from which the compensation of CO2 emissions is encouraged: «We demand that the new environmental impact assessment projects to be authorized. For this reason we are going to implement tools that allow the calculation, reduction and compensation of carbon in the fight against climate change.


Miguel Ángel Martínez-Aroca Pérez, president and director of Solar Fields of ANPIER, highlighted the urgent need to replace the burning of fossil fuel to produce energy with other sustainable methods such as photovoltaic energy, cleaner and renewable, in addition to the importance of the electrification of energy consumption itself: «In Spain, only 18% of energy consumption comes from renewable sources. The energy revolution must focus on the entry accompanied by renewable energies by the electrification of the economy as a whole (transport, heating, etc)

On behalf of photovoltaic energy producers, he criticized the disproportionate visual and environmental impact that photovoltaic macroparks cause on the environment, in addition to pointing out that they do not generate wealth at all for the Region of Murcia. “We are giving away the solar wealth of our Region,” he declared.

Also the role of ANPIER in the cancellation of a new cut of 20% (which was added to a previous one of 30%) to the photovoltaic sector, which would have been a fatal blow: «There is still instability and malaise in the sector due to these retroactive cuts. We are going to fight for compensation for photovoltaic producers».


The president of the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of the Region of Murcia, Santiago Martínez, expressed during the panel of experts the need for a plan aimed at the renewal of energy sources, as there has been one for the modernization of irrigation. Made up of some 90 cooperatives, these small and medium-sized groups of farmers are affected by energy rates, and the representative of FECOAM did not want to miss the opportunity to report it: «It is not normal that the cheapest rates are only established at night, when practically not working. Photovoltaic installations allow working at the lowest price at any time of the day»

The commitment of the cooperatives to the renewable energy project was also highlighted by Santiago Martínez, who attributes the delay in annexing this initiative to administrative processes. «If the bureaucracy had not been so slow in recent years, cooperatives would be much more advanced in terms of photovoltaic energy», he said.


For his part, Miguel Padilla, president of COAG Murcia, valued the agricultural diversity of the Region, adding that the maintenance of the territory passes through renewable energies. «The model with respect to photovoltaic energy must be social, it saddens me to see investment funds creating large projects of photovoltaic parks, which do not bring wealth, but quite the opposite», said Padilla.

He also valued the potential of the Region, and encouraged to facilitate as much as possible the path towards the implementation of solar gardens: «Energy self-consumption must be defended 100%. Photovoltaics is a clean and cheap energy».


The head of the Solar Department of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, Carlos Montoya, pointed to the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan as the root of all these measures for the benefit of sustainability: «One of the main issues of this plan is the commitment to distributed generation and self-consumption»

With regard to photovoltaic macro plants, Montoya stated that “its prohibition does not believe that it is the way. The energy transition is going to need everything we can turn to».

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