Micro generation projects driving Portugal's new solar PV installations

05. September 2013 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets, Research & Development | By:  Ilias Tsagas

Portugal added 16.8 MW of solar PV in May and June, but latest figures show that micro generation is still the country’s dominant sector.

Micro generation of solar power still accounts for the majority of solar energy output in Portugal.

A new report published by Portuguese energy regulator, the Direcção Geral de Energia e Geologia (DGEG), on 31st August reveals that Portugal installed 16.8 MW of solar PV in May and June of this year, with each of these installations being implemented through the Portuguese program of micro-generation and mini-generation.

The DGEG also reported earlier in the summer that from January to April, Portugal had electrified just 1.1 MW of solar PV. Of this, more than half – 700 kW – of new PV had also been generated via the Portuguese program of micro-generation and mini-generation.

Overall, in the first six months of 2013 Portugal added a total of 17.9 MW of new solar PV systems, of which just 400 KW came from non-micro and non-mini generation installations solar parks.

Portugal's 243.4 MW of cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity generated 394 GWh of energy in the first semester of 2013, with 157 GWh produced specifically by Portugal's 117.3 MW of installed micro and mini generations solar PV systems.

Grouped with the country’s entire renewable energy output, solar energy in Portugal contributed just a tiny fraction of the 28,094 GWh generated by its entire renewable power portfolio. The majority of Portugal’s renewable energy for the first half of 2013 was generated by hydro and wind.

Maria Luisa Portugal Basilio, of the Department for Planning and Statistics (Direção de Serviços de Planeamento e Estatística) at the DGEG, told pv magazine that of the 87 MW of solar PV projects licensed in 2012, some are currently in the construction phase and that "we expect a part of them to start electricity production by the end of this year, and the rest by the end of 2014."

Basilio added: "According to Portugal's National Plan for Renewables, we [DGEE] predict that Portugal will have installed 670 MW of solar PV by 2020, and this includes micro and mini-generation."

When it comes to solar PV, it appears that Portugal rather thinks small and acts slow.

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