Clean Power

Published on April 9th, 2013 | by Dr. Karl-Friedrich Lenz


Portugal Hit 70% Renewable Electricity In Q1 2013

April 9th, 2013 by  

Reposted from Lenz Blog:

Portugal wind turbines. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Portugal wind turbines.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Portugal is the newest country to make the list of over 60% renewable electricity. According to this report by the network operator REN, it got 70% in quarter one of this year. The largest part (37%) comes from hydro, which had excellent weather conditions, leading to a 312% increase over last year’s figures. But wind also contributed 27%, with a 60% increase, also primarily due to favorable weather conditions.

As expected, generation from coal was down by 29%, and from gas was down by 44% (please cheer and applaud for Portugal now).

Thanks to this tweet by ekopolitan for the link to this piece of very welcome good news.

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About the Author

is a professor of German and European Law at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, blogging since 2003 at Lenz Blog. A free PDF file of his global warming science fiction novel "Great News" is available here.

  • Fernando

    Just heard of two interesting pieces of news, related to Portugal, i thought i might share. 1. Edp renovaveis, Portuguese electrical company operating in the renewables space, just received number one ranking, worldwide, by the FTSE4Good index, ranking companies for their sustainability and social practices, in the areas of Climate Change, and Environmental management. 2. A Portuguese start up company has developed an EV car, the “Veeco RT”, which is absolutely fantastic in design and performance. Check it out for yourselves. 3 Wheel semi-sport model, 200 to 400 km range, 0-100 km/h in 8 seconds, 160 km/h top speed. Lithium power batteries from 18 to 48 kWh. Developed in collaboration with ISEL, one of Portuguese Engineering universities.

  • Taehwan

    It’s amazing news. How about residential or commercial solar PV market instead of utility-scale in Portugal? I’m curious whether ordinary people in Portugal also can have ownership like in Germany or not.

    • Fernando

      Yes, Taehwan, it is absolutely possible to install and own your own PV or wind production. In fact, current building codes require that any new building incorporate such systems, along with improved insulation requirements. Portugal has tradicionaly had an extreme dependency on foreign fossil fuels. Solar and wind represent a very welcome change to that. People in the construction and energy fields are certainly very aware of that. Solar resources are abundant, similar to those found in Spain, just about the best you can get in Europe. Wind availability is also excellent. High ratio of coastline relative to mainland surface and population. Plus an immense territorial domain in the Atlantic. EDP renewables, a Portuguese company, already has a working off shore wind tower, their own design, for application in portuguese waters, and abroad. By the way, this would be a great story for the editor to include in this site, i feel. Chinese power giant Three Dam Gorges bought a significant stake in the Portuguese company having precisely in mind appplying some of that technology in their own market, among other goals. PS: Don´t really know how to draw Zachary’s attention to my suggestion for a piece for this site, so let’s hope he reads this.

    • I believe Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to have mandatory use of Solar water heaters in every new building. unfortunately, the contruction business here has had better days. nonetheless, the government paid for 50% of the solar panel to heat water, I bought one to my sister as a wedding present 😀

  • the former prime minister set an ambitious goal in terms of Hydroelectricity. Only about 40% of our potencial is now being explored, the goal is to reach 65%. the problem here is the paralel economy, one of the best ways to colect taxes is in gasoline and diesel. i believe that car ownership and traffic are encouraged because of that. The government has closed about 1500 kms of rail lines, and we have 3 highways from the Capital Lisbon to the second biggest city Porto. seems stupid, doesn’t it? we spent all the money that came from the European Union in highways and roundabouts…

    • hmm, interesting comments. this is a conundrum a lot of governments will face (or are facing).

    • tibi stibi

      understandable but short time policy. all the money which goes to gasoline and diesel goes to other countries. money invested in wind and hydro goes in to your own country.

      making cheaper energy will make a cheaper economie (this besides all other benefits off health care etc…)

  • Algarve is the most southern province and has only a few wind farms. The main wind farms are located in the center and in the north, Portugal has always been a pioneer in renewable energy because we dont have any source of fossil fuels. During dictatorship, between 1926 and 1974 in the Douro Valley and all across the north, many dams were built and only a few years ago we started relying more in fossil fuels. The former prime minister Jose Socrates made an important bet in wind energy. Last year, the drought costed 500 million euros to the portuguese economy due to low hidroelectrical potential. This year… it has been raining since December… we even export hidroelectricity to Spain…

    • Bob_Wallace

      And that rain is what drove me south to the Algarve. I wanted to see more of the north, but trying to take pictures while holding an umbrella….

      (Plus, cloudy skies don’t make for good photos.)

      • btw, we should throw a photo or two of yours in this piece! 😀

    • Fernando

      Paulo forgot to mention that Socrates’s feed in tariffs are currently inflating a huge debt for Portuguese consumers, due to high promised prices, which are not possible to pass through to households and companies, given the poor state of the country’s finances. Also, his representation of Portuguese hidro is grossly in error. In this important area, the problem the country faces is desertification, and drought. This is not to criticize the build up of renewables in Portugal. The country certainly has ample potential. Mainly in solar. But i do write this as a warning to all that over paying for feed in tariffs is not the way to go. Renewables are already competitive at market prices. Let´s not get intangled in government errors.

    • thanks for the informative comments! out of curiosity, are you a regular reader who just doesn’t chime in much? or did you run across this article elsewhere because it was about Portugal.

      would love to have you stick around and chime in from time to time. 😀

      • Fernando

        Zachary, don’t know if you were addressing me. In any case, let me tell you that i do follow this site regularly, and i do think you do a great job at it. Congratulations on that. I do share your enthusiasm and understanding of the crucial role that clean energy, based on renewables, plays on our collective futures. We are indeed, i hope, on the early stages of a much needed and very welcome change for the better. Mostly, i have learnt quite a bit with your site. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and so must one’s understanding of it, as well. Will be happy to share views with you or others, especially because i noted so many intelligent and knowledgeable people contribute. And again, keep up the good work, i do feel it’s important what you’re doing. Thank you, from Portugal.

      • im a regular reader, and i feel proud of portuguese achievements in this area, but being almost bankrupted delayed some major reforms in our electrical generation process. The Three Gorges Dam company bought 21% of EDP, the major electrical company in Portugal. Only God knows what they’re about to.

        • Thanks. Yes, bankruptcy’s a bitch. Happy to find that we’ve got regular readers from Portugal. 😀

  • Bob_Wallace

    About a week ago I rode through one of Portugal’s wind farms, down south in the Algarve. Seeing all those huge turbines moving slowly, but so strongly was very impressive.

    • slow & strong is how i always think of them. the speed is such that it draws your attention, and the blades are spectacular. yet to stand next to one, but looking forward to the day.

  • ThomasGerke

    *Cheer and applause* 😀

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