Portugal added around 546 MW of new PV systems in the first half of the year, according to provisional figures released by the country's Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG).
Of the 546 MW added, 225 MW correspond to utility scale solar projects, while the remaining 321 MW resulted from the installation of self-consumption production units, both in households and in the commercial and industrial sectors, a spokesperson for the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy (APREN) told pv magazine.
In 2021, the country installed around 570 MW of new solar capacity. It has therefore added almost as much new solar in the first half of this year than it did in all of 2021.
Figures that were released in February put new solar capacity additions for 2021 at 701 MW, but they have since been updated. In 2020 and 2019, new additions hit 151 MW and 252 MW, respectively.
Portugal’s cumulative PV capacity reached 2.19 GW by the end of June. Solar is the technology with the greatest growth in installed capacity in relative terms, going from 299 MW in 2013 to 2192 MW in 2022, up 633%.
The Portuguese 2030 National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNEC) establishes a goal of 6.6 GW total PV capacity by 2025 and 9 GW by 2030. At present, around 3.45 GW of solar projects have received production licensing, but not operating licensing, according to DGEG figures. “Considering the current rate of evolution of PV plant installations, reaching the 9 GW target by 2030 will only be possible if the difficulties inherent in the licensing processes are overcome,” said an APREN spokesperson.
Overall, around 16 GW of renewable energy capacity is currently operating in Portugal, most of which is represented by hydropower at 7.35 GW and wind energy at 5.64 GW. While hydropower remains the country’s top source of renewable energy in absolute terms, its annual production fell by 38% between June 2021 and June 2022. Solar’s annual production grew by 27% over the same period.
Solar generation hit its highest point ever in July, accounting for 9% of the country’s total electricity production, according to figures from APREN. The country also broke its previous records in June and May, when solar accounted for 8.6% and 8.2% of total generation, respectively.
*This article was updated to include comment by APREN.
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