Portugal adds only 1.1 MW of solar in four months

A report published by Portuguese energy regulator, the Direcção Geral de Energia e Geologia (DGGE), says Portugal installed just 1.1 MW of solar PV from January to April. Of this, 700 kW of new PV came through the Portuguese program of micro-generation and mini-generation.

Cumulative solar capacity in Portugal at the end of April reached 226.6 MW, up from 225.5 MW at the end of 2012, according to the report, released earlier this month.

The DGGE report stated: "solar PV licensing in 2012 underwent a large increase, rising from 140 MW at the end of 2011 to 227 MW, representing an increase of 62%."

Maria Luisa Portugal Basilio, of the Department for Planning and Statistics (Direção de Serviços de Planeamento e Estatística) at the DGGE, told pv magazine the "87 MW of solar PV projects licensed in 2012 are the result of a 140 MW tender promoted by the government according to the grid capacity, as this is expected to progress until 2016."

Of the 87 MW licensed last year, Basilio said: "not all are in the same project situation, some of them are already in construction and others in different steps.

"We expect a part of them to start electricity production by the end of this year, and the rest by the end of 2014," she added.

"According to Portugal’s National Plan for Renewables," Basilio said, "we preview Portugal will have installed 670 MW of solar PV by 2020, and this includes micro and mini-generation."

Portugal had added 67.8 MW of PV power in 2012, a 36% increase on 2011, when Portugal added 32.4 MW of new capacity. But solar penetration remains slow, with PV projects at the end of 2012 amounting to only 0.7% of total energy demand.

The EU’s 2009/28/EC directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources calls for Portugal to produce 31% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from 20.5% in 2005.

The Iberian country has scored satisfactory results towards the EU target but mainly from hydro and wind power.

According to July’s DGGE report, hydro and wind capacities at the end of April reached 5.54 GW and 4.46 GW, respectively.

The sun doesn’t shine equally for all, it seems.