02 January 2024

Renewable energy generation sets new record in 2023

Renewable generation supplied 61% of the electricity consumption in Portugal in 2023, totalling 31.2 TWh, the highest-ever recorded value in the Portuguese national system.

Wind power supplied 25% of the consumption in Portugal, hydropower contributed 23%, photovoltaics accounted for 7% and biomass for 6%. There was a year-on-year increase of 70% in hydropower generation, compared to the especially dry year recorded in 2022. Additionally, there was a 43% increase in photovoltaic generation, attributed to the gradual increase of the installed capacity. The capability indices of renewable energy sources remained nearly in line with the average, with an index of 0.99 (historical average being 1) for hydropower, the same when accounting for hydropower and 1.01 for solar capability.

Non-renewable generation supplied only 19% of the consumption, totalling 10 TWh – the lowest value recorded since 1988. This is due not only to the increased availability of renewable energy but also to the high import balance, supplying 20% of the consumption, which marks the highest value ever recorded and its largest share in meeting consumption needs since 1981.

Electricity consumption supplied by the public grid in 2023 reached 50.7 TWh, reflecting a growth of 0.8% vis-à-vis the previous year, or 0.6% when correcting for the effects of temperature and number of working days. This marks the highest consumption since 2018, standing approximately 3% below the all-time high recorded in the Portuguese national system in 2010.

As for the month of December, consumption recorded a substantial growth of 6.9%, or 5.6% when correcting for the effects of temperature and number of working days. Renewable generation supplied 73% of this consumption, non-renewable generation contributed 11%, while the remaining 16% corresponded to the import balance. During this period, conditions were favourable for hydropower generation, with a capability index of 1.09. In contrast, wind and solar capability recorded indices of 0.83 and 0.91, respectively.

In the natural gas market, the overall consumption in 2023 was the lowest since 2014. There was a consumption of 49 TWh, indicating a contraction of 21% compared to the previous year, which resulted from a 42% reduction in the electricity production segment and a 3% decrease in the conventional segment.

In 2023, the Portuguese national system was primarily supplied from the Sines LNG terminal, accounting for 95% of the total gas in Portugal, with the remaining 5% coming from the interconnection with Spain. The main origins of the gas unloaded in Sines were Nigeria and the United States, representing 42% and 40% of the domestic supply, respectively.

In December, the consumption of gas maintained the negative trend observed throughout the year, with an overall year-on-year contraction of 11.5%. This represents a 51% drop in the electric market, partially offset by a 10% growth in the conventional segment.