Project partner interview to Paulo Bermonte and Felipe Mendonça
EDA, as the responsible entity for the electric system in Terceira (Azores), a lighthouse islands of the project, is, mandatorily, a key partner in the demonstration activities of IANOS. EDA’s focus on the project refers to the development of an Island Decarbonization Masterplan (Work Package 2) and to the coordination of Work Package 6 regarding demonstration and implementation activities in Terceira.
EDA, as the electricity utility in Terceira, has the necessary knowledge about the island’s electric system and its respective needs and specificities. Therefore, EDA’s main contributions are related to the participation on the engagement of local entities and consumers towards the project, the management of implementation and monitoring activities, and the support to the remaining industrial and technological partners of the project, responsible for the systems and equipment to be installed on the island.
EDA’s team for project IANOS include elements from the innovation and technical planning department of the company. The search for innovative and progressively more efficient systems and solutions are a part of the daily work of EDA’s team participating in the project. Therefore, the activities related with project IANOS are of the outmost interest and importance given the project’s innovative character and its focus on the specific situation of islanded electric systems. The possibility to test the innovative systems and solutions proposed in IANOS is also of great importance given the possibility of future replication in the remaining electric systems of the Azores, all with the same reduced and isolated character.
One of the obvious main challenges that can arise within the implementation of this project is the skepticism of the consumers and population in general. There is still a great unfamiliarity of the consumers regarding the matter of energy production/consumption and about the importance of moving towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly electric system. However, a strong engagement of the target consumers of Terceira Island who are expected to take part in the project is essential for the success of IANOS. Nevertheless, a positive impact of the project in those consumers can become a starting point for a future change of mindsets regarding these matters.
Following the previous answer, I believe that the major impact of this project may well be in the raise of awareness of the overall energy consumers for the importance of their daily actions and options in their energy bill, in the environment and in the community where they belong. Given the growing perception for the importance of the decarbonization of economy to decisively tackle climate changes, population and overall energy consumers need to be aware of their role and their important contribution in order to address this major issue, with actions as simple as the efficient use of energy and available resources.