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Portugal investing billions in renewable energy by 2012, government says

Mar 22, 2007 The Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal: Portugal plans investments of euro8.1 billion (US$10.8 billion) in renewable energy projects over the next five years, a government official said Thursday.

Antonio Castro Guerra, assistant secretary of state for Industry and Innovation, said in a speech to a renewable energy conference that the investments would create about 10,000 new jobs.

He did not specify whether the investments were private or public.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates said in January that his Socialist government was aiming to collect 45 percent of Portugal's total power consumption from renewable sources by 2010, putting the country at the forefront of alternative energy use in the European Union, alongside Austria and Sweden.

Portugal is almost entirely dependent on imported energy, but is developing major wave and solar power projects and building wind farms to power 750,000 homes. It also is exploring new hydropower projects.