Portuguese solar generation hit highest point ever in May


May was a record-breaking month for solar in Portugal. The country generated 3,337 GWh of electricity, with solar production accounting for 8.2% of the total – the highest level ever recorded in the country.

However, solar still performed below its full potential in Portugal, taking fourth place among the most productive renewable energy sources. Wind was the leader, accounting for 25% of total generation, followed by hydro at 13% and biomass at 9.8%.

Renewable energy accounted for 56,3% of total electricity production, or 1,902 GWh, down 4.2% from May 2021. The decrease was mainly due to a decline in wind and hydro production, said the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy (APREN). Renewable energy generation saved Portugal an estimated €274 million ($285.8 million) in natural gas imports in May, equal to or €215.20/MWh, according to APREN.

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The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the electricity market are also being felt throughout Portugal. The average price on the Iberian Electricity Market (MIBEL) was €213.40/MWh between Jan. 1 and May 31 – four times higher than in the same period last year. Portuguese electricity consumption was fully powered by renewable energy for 56 non-consecutive hours during the first five months of 2022.

In May, the country’s electricity consumption was fully covered by renewable energy for 4.3 non-consecutive hours, and the average MIBEL price of electricity fell to €209.40/MWh. This was influenced by the joint policies of the Portuguese and Spanish governments to limit natural gas prices.

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