PV panels catching some rays in Portugal, Source: Depositphotos

More than half of Portuguese electricity now comes from solar and wind

More than half of Portuguese electricity now comes from solar and wind

And the summer hasn’t even begun so that share is likely to go up even more

Last year, in the midst of the energy anxiety that had taken over Europeans, Portugal decided to act and installed 0.9 GW of solar photovoltaics, which boosted its capacity to generate electricity to a total of 2,5 GW. That alone is enough to power 1 million homes.

That investment in power-producing capacity is now reaping rewards, after April reports show that 51% of the Iberian country’s electricity comes from two renewable sources, namely solar and wind. This is the first time such a share has been reached in the history of Portugal. And given the fact that renewable energy production through solar generation is most potent in the summer months, that means that the record-breaking numbers can improve even further.

Goals for decarbonising electricity

Portugal’s southern and seaside location is ideal for harnessing the powers of the sun and wind.

Wind power and interconnection made it possible for Portugal to phase out coal in 2021; solar is now pushing gas off the grid,” explains Matt Ewen, an analyst from Ember, a think tank studying global processes of electric power production.

Part of the wind and solar success can also be attributed to the chronic drought that has plagued the Mediterranean and which has affected another renewable source of power production – hydropower.  But despite the dip in water-generated electricity, there was also a dip in the consumption of fossil fuels for that sector (24%), spurred by electricity imports from Spain and lower demand.

With regard to wind-generated power, there hasn’t been a significant boost in capacity, which already accounts for 5.6 GW. However, at the start of the year, the Portuguese government announced that by the end of 2023, there is a plan to launch an auction for the first offshore wind turbine farms.

The aim of the authorities is to have the offshore sector reach capacity of 10 GW by 2030.



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