Portugal 72 hours on renewables
In may 2016, Portugal ran for more than half a week without having to resort to fossil fuels.
Thanks to a big push toward solar, wind, and hydro power and a little nudge from the EU, for four days, Portugal produced enough clean, sustainable electricity to meet the needs of its people.
Portugal wants to export green energy
Portugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures.
Electricity consumption in the country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday, the analysis says.
News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day – effectively paying consumers to use it.
Oliver Joy, a spokesman for the Wind Europe trade association
“We are seeing trends like this spread across Europe – last year with Denmark and now in Portugal. The Iberian peninsula is a great resource for renewables and wind energy, not just for the region but for the whole of Europe.”
This is a significant achievement for a European country, but what seems extraordinary today will be commonplace in Europe in just a few years. The energy transition process is gathering momentum and records such as this will continue to be set and broken across Europe.
Wind, Wave and Sun
Last year, wind provided 22% of electricity and all renewable sources together provided 48% in Portugal.
Portugal added 550MW of wind capacity between 2013 and 2016, and industry groups now have their sights firmly set on the green energy’s export potential, within Europe and without.
An increased build-out of interconnectors, a reformed electricity market and political will are all essential. But with the right policies in place, wind could meet a quarter of Europe’s power needs in the next 15 years.
In 2015, wind power alone met 42% of electricity demand in Denmark, 20% in Spain, 13% in Germany and 11% in the UK.
The end of fossils
The age of inflexible and polluting technologies is drawing to an end and power will increasingly be provided from clean, renewable sources.”
An earlier version said that in 2013 Portugal generated 27% of its electricity from nuclear, 13% from hydro, 7.5% from wind and 3% from solar, according to Eurostat figures. In fact those figures are for the whole of the EU; Portugal does not have any nuclear power plants.
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