Portugal: Renewables supply 70% of power in Q1

11. April 2013 | Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Vera von Kreutzbruck

Seventy percent of Portugal’s power generation came from renewable energies, mainly hydroelectric power and wind energy, in Q1 2013, according to the country’s grid operator, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN). Despite this record, photovoltaic energy still fails to have significant presence in the energy mix.

Portugal flag

The record presence of renewable energies in the country’s energy mix was primarily due to good weather conditions.

The record presence of renewable energies in the country’s energy mix was primarily due to good weather conditions.

Hydroelectric generation between January and March increased 312% compared to last year, supplying 37% of consumption, while wind energy generation increased 60% in the same period and supplied 27% of consumption.

Furthermore, generation by coal-fired and natural gas thermoelectric power stations fell 29% and 44% in the first quarter, respectively, compared to the same period in 2012.

No figures on photovoltaic generation during the first quarter were released, and REN could not be reached to obtain further details.

Low penetration

As reported in March, penetration of solar energy in the Portuguese market remains low, with photovoltaic projects covering only 0.7% of 2012 total energy demand. However, the Portuguese energy regulator Direcção Geral de Energia e Geologia (DGGE) reported an increase in solar energy generation last March. It reached 360 GWh in 2012, compared to 265 GWh in 2011.

Cumulative photovoltaic capacity in Portugal reached 225.5 MW at the end of 2012, according to DGGE . Of this, 99.8 MW was photovoltaic power installed via mini-generation (up to 3.68 kW) and micro-generation (up to 250 kW) schemes.

In 2012, the country added 67.8 MW of photovoltaic power –  a 36% increase compared to 2011, when Portugal added 32.4 MW of new capacity.

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