REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais is the company responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted supply of electricity and natural gas in mainland Portugal. There are more than 700 people working every day to achieve this mission, carried out in a transparent, objective, and economically efficient way and with a strong commitment to sustainable development.
REN acts in accordance with the energy goals of the European Union, helping the planet combat climate change, without forgetting the security and quality of energy supply, which is increasingly generated from renewable sources.
This commitment means that all REN activities take into account sustainability principles and comply with strict and verifiable criteria. There is a permanent demand on the quality and safety of the service, and also on the positive impact that REN wants to have on the communities and ecosystems where it works.
REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais is responsible for the transmission of very high voltage electricity and for the overall technical management of the National Electric System (SEN). REN operates the National Transport Network (RNT), which connects generators to consumption centers and the Spanish network, ensuring a balance between demand and supply of energy.
The concession granted by the Portuguese State also includes the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the RNT, also covering the overall technical management of the SEN, in order to ensure the harmonized functioning of the infrastructures that comprise it, as well as the continuity of service and security of electricity supply.
Every odd-numbered year, REN presents a proposal for planned investments (Development and Investment Plan for the Electricity Transmission Grid [Plano de Desenvolvimento e Investimento da Rede de Transporte de Eletricidade] – PDIRT), which seeks to schedule future investments in the grid, currently very focused on energy transition and on the electrification of the economy.
This PDIRT proposal is evaluated by the Portuguese Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG), and its revision is the responsibility of the Portuguese Energy Services Regulatory Entity (Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços Energéticos – ERSE). After a public consultation period, ERSE gives its opinion, from which REN draws up the final PDIRT proposal, sending it back to DGEG. The plan is then sent to the Government for decision.
Investment in the Electricity Transmission Grid
The investments in the Portuguese National Transmission Grid (NTG) defined in the PDIRT have taken into account the increase in energy consumption at a national level and the need to carry out the energy transition and the electrification of the economy. In recent years there has been an increase in renewable energy generation, so investments in the NTG have focused on transmitting that renewable energy to consumption centres. More recently, there has been a significant increase in interconnection capacity between Portugal and Spain as part of the development of the Iberian Electricity Market.
By the end of the first quarter of each odd-numbered year, REN must submit a proposal for the Development and Investment Plan for the Natural Gas Grid (Plano de Desenvolvimento e Investimento da Rede de Gás Natural – PDIRGN) to the Portuguese Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG). The final version, accompanied by the opinion of the Portuguese Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) and the results of the public consultation, will be submitted to the Government for approval.
Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy award, Portuguese Corporate Ethics Association (Associação Portuguesa de Ética Empresarial - APEE)
Honourable mention for REN - Ciência LP Medals of Scientific Merit, in the Sustainable Development Goals 13 - Climate Action category, Portuguese Corporate Ethics Association (Associação Portuguesa de Ética Empresarial - APEE)
Good Practice of the Year for the speed-E project, 'Technological Innovation & System Integration' category, Renewables Grid Initiave (RGI)
Gold, Datahub, in the Website category, in the Energy area, Stevie Awards
Gold, Datahub, Website & Mobile Sites - Energia, Vega Awards
Gold, Datahub, Website & Mobile Sites - Best Data Visualization, Vega Awards
Silver, REN Investors App, Apps & Software, Vega Awards 2022
Client of the Year, "Prémios Lusófonos da Criatividade"
Bronze, "Heróis de Toda a Espécie", Social Responsability Events, "Prémios Lusófonos da Criatividade"
Bronze, best contact centre in Portugal in the energy sector, Portuguese Association of Contact Centres (APCC)
"Best Legal Department" award, "Energy & Construction" category, Iberian Legal Summit
Honorable Mention, "BEST WELLBEING PROGRAM" - 250 A 1000 workers, Wellbeing Awards 2022
REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais is a listed public limited company operating in two main business areas: (i) transmission of extra high voltage electricity and overall technical management of the National Electricity System and (ii) high-pressure transport of natural gas, overall technical management of the National Natural Gas System, reception, storage and regasification of LNG and underground natural gas storage. It holds public service concessions for these activities. In 2017, REN acquired the second largest natural gas distribution network in Portugal, REN Portgás, which focuses its activity on the development and exploitation of the natural gas distribution network in the northern coastal region of Portugal.
Under its contract with the state, REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais has the obligation to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity and natural gas to mainland Portugal, while meeting the criteria of cost, quality and safety established by the authorities.
In 1994, the unbundling of the sector resulted in REN (Rede Eléctrica Nacional). In 2000, the EDP Group was legally separated and REN became an independent company.
In 2006, when acquired Galp the regulated natural gas assets.
REN is one of the best European energy transmission companies with above-average service quality indexes.
REN has specific technical departments that, on the basis of a vast set of information (demand forecasts, plans for installing new power stations, etc) draft development plans that enable them to draw up timelines for needs for new infrastructures and facilities to guarantee an uninterrupted energy (electricity and natural gas) supply to the country.
The plans for investment needed for the development of energy transmission and transport infrastructures (electricity and natural gas) must be approved by the competent authorities, Ministry of the Economy and Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços Energéticos (Regulator).
Approved investments are remunerated at a rate of return defined by law. The amount is incorporated in tariffs and paid by all consumers.
REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais identifies possible routes for lines and locations for infrastructures. Routes undergo environmental impact assessment and the most appropriate one is chosen. This process ends with the issue by the Ministry of the Environment of a binding environmental impact statement. Technical and administrative licensing is completed by Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia (Directorate-General for Energy and Geology).
All valid alternatives are studied during the environmental impact assessment.
The study process includes a public consultation organised by the environmental authority (Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente - APA) and all interested parties and local authorities involved are invited to participate.
All transmission lines over 10 km must undergo environmental assessment and therefore a public consultation.
No. REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais can only build in corridors approved by Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente in an environmental impact assessment procedure and licensed by Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia. After a line has been licensed, an administrative right is granted to use the private property for public services infrastructure.
The country's supply of electricity comes from thermoelectric power stations that use fossil fuels (basically coal and natural gas), hydroelectric plants, wind farms, co-generation power stations and photovoltaic energy. Learn more here.
The origin of the natural gas consumed in Portugal depends on the contracts established by gas suppliers.
Portugal has set a goal of reducing its dependency on foreign energy and fossil fuels, which it does by increasing the use of renewable energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, photovoltaic and waves).
As new renewable energy sources are located all over the country, they require the installation of new transmission lines in remote areas.