Sweden’s king in Portugal for renewable energy talks

Sweden's environmentally-minded King Carl XVI Gustaf arrived in Lisbon on Monday at the head of a government and business delegation for a state visit focusing on the theme of renewable energy.

The king, committed to efforts to curb global warming, told a press conference during this, his second state visit to Portugal, “we will discuss energy and environment.”

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva told the journalists: “Both Portugal and Sweden have made major investments in renewable energy.

“We hope that during this visit the exchange of experience in this field will promote intense cooperation between the two countries,” said Cavaco.

The king, who will be accompanied by Queen Silvia and a delegation of Swedish ministers and business leaders during the three-day stay, was scheduled on Tuesday to attend a renewable energy conference, and will on Wednesday visit Evora in the southern Alentejo region which has invested heavily in solar power.

Nearly 80 percent of Portugal’s solar energy resources are located in this area including the world’s largest solar power station at Amareleja, which went into partial operation in March.

By the end of last year renewable energy provided 40.7 percent of Portugal’s electricity needs, although so far solar power accounts for only 0.1 percent.

The Swedish royal couple were scheduled to inspect a facility in Alentejo producing solar panels.

The king was quoted by the Lisbon newspaper Jornal de Noticias as saying: “We will see what we can learn from Portuguese experience.”

Sweden plans within 30 years to close down all its nuclear reactors, which currently account for half the country’s power resources.