Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government is aiming to triple the production of energy from renewable sources by the year 2015.
It is expected to increase from the current production rate of 3.2 percent to 7.8 percent through the introduction of a Renewable Energy Promotion Plan (PIER), which was presented yesterday by regional Commerce, Industry and Energy minister, Josep Joan Cardona. Its principal objective is to encourage the use of renewable energy in the Balearics.

Cardona highlighted the fact that the Plan, which has an operation span of 4 years, has a total budget of 8 million euros, of which more than 50 percent will be allocated to subsidising investment in renewable energy installations. The minister pointed out that the Balearics thus becomes the region of Spain which allocates the highest proportion of its budget to the promotion of this type of energy, and specified that this is one of the pivotal points of the Balearic government's energy policies.

Amongst the objectives of PIER, is the granting of subsidy for renewable energy installations, the launching of public-awareness campaigns aimed at citizens and government alike, and research and development in this field.

The minister announced the beginning of an allowed time period, starting yesterday and running to 25 September, when interested parties could make application for subsidies to help with payment for renewable energy installations.

The direct grants are allocated to individuals, companies and town councils which have plans to set up systems using solar energy, photovoltaic solar energy, wind-powered energy, or other types using a mixture of renewable energies.

Apart from these subsidies, people making such an investment will have access to the most advantageous loan conditions with a selection of financial groups with whom the ministry is currently holding negotiations.

PIER also want to see the setting up of an Energy Information Point, an advice service which can be accessed through website http://pie.caib.es, which will allow a permanent evaluation of renewable energy resources and provide background information on the subject.

Another aspect of the Plan will encourage the approval of by-laws and statutes facilitating the establishment of solar energy in all municipalities. The aim is to incorporate the capture and use of solar energy to heat water in town buildings.

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