Record-breaking Portugal generates more clean energy than it can use

05 April 2018 | Mitigation

Renewables delivered more than 100 per cent of Portugal's electricity needs in March, according to official data

Portugal produced more clean power than it could use last month, according to official data released yesterday by REN, the country's transmission system operator.

In March renewable energy accounted for 103.6 per cent of the country's electricity consumption, the highest level in 40 years. In total Portugal produced 4,812GWh of renewable electricity, and used 4,647GWh of power, over the course of the month.

Although there were some short periods when thermal power plants were needed to meet demand, renewables met at least 86 per cent of demand throughout the month and at times covered 143 per cent of the country's electricity demand.

Meanwhile, over the course of the month Portugal enjoyed two separate 70-hour periods when it relied solely on renewables for electricity.

The analysis of the REN data was released yesterday by the Portuguese renewable energy association APREN and ZERO, the Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System.

Last month's renewables generation saved the country 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions - equating to €2m of allowances on the EU's carbon market, the groups said.

The closest Portugal has come to the 100 per cent milestone in previous years was in February 2014, when renewables met 99.2 per cent of electricity demand.

The country has a large amount of hydro capacity, and in recent years has focused on rolling out wind and solar power through utility scale installations. In November it confirmed plans to close its two remaining coal-fired power stations by 2030, as part of a pledge that saw it join the international Powering Past Coal Alliance.

As such renewables-only months are expected to become commonplace for the country, as fossil fuel power is expected to only be required occasionally to stabilise the grid.  




Source: Business Green