03 May 2024

Renewables reach historic significance in Portugal

For 46 years, renewable energy generation has not had such significance in meeting electricity consumption needs in Portugal. In April, renewables supplied 94.9% of consumption, nearing the 95.4% reached in May 1978. It is the fourth consecutive month with values above 80%, following 91% recorded in March, 88% recorded in February, and 81% recorded in January.

Consumption grew by 3.4% in April, an increase of 0.2% when correcting for the effects of temperature and number of working days. In the first four months of the year, renewable generation supplied 90% of electricity consumption, split between hydroelectric with 48%, wind with 30%, photovoltaics with 7%, and biomass with 6%. Generation from natural gas supplied 9% of consumption, while the balance of trade with foreign countries stood at near zero.

In April, the capability index for hydroelectric reached 1.49, for wind 1.08, and for solar 1.01 (historical averages of 1). Although being the least significant of the three, the solar component continues to grow substantially, with peaks already above 2,100 MW, reaching in April the highest monthly significance ever recorded, corresponding to 10.5% of consumption.

Regarding the electricity production segment from natural gas, limited by the high availability of renewable energy, it maintains a trend of reduced consumption, with a year-on-year monthly decline of 86%.

In the conventional segment, there was a positive year-on-year variation, close to 5%. Supply to the Portuguese national system continues to derive almost entirely from the Sines LNG terminal.

At the end of April, the accumulated annual consumption of gas recorded a negative year-on-year variation of 12%, as the electricity production segment contracted by 50% and the conventional segment grew by 5.6%. Considering this period of the year, this is the lowest consumption since 2004.