At the very beginning of 2023, analyses show that certain countries show impressive individual results in the national energy transition. Although the historical profits made by large energy companies last year, during the crisis they created skepticism about sincere intentions of a fast energy transition.
But Portugal is a country that defies geopolitical games and shows good results when it comes to energy independence.
The country plans to create appropriate conditions and a solid energy transition through which, by 2026, it will generate 80% of its electricity from renewable sources.
The good news is that Portugal has managed to do so in practice. In January this year, the country network operator informed that a record 88% of the electricity consumption was provided by renewable energy sources.
Good weather conditions, such as heavy rains, wind, and sun, have contributed to larger amounts of electricity from renewable sources, as opposed to gas power plants, whose work was minimized in this period and decreased by a record 64% compared to the same month last year.
Portugal, which was only one of the most dependent countries in the energy sense 10 years ago, today has a brand new independent and far more stable energy structure thanks to renewable energy sources. From a country that has based over 80% of energy on import, today Portugal portrays a completely different image in the electricity production segment.
Portugal’s energy independence has been reflected through the construction of hydro energy, which has a capacity of 8.8 GW. The installed windmill capacity is about 13.3 GW, and the photovoltaics capacity is 3.1 GW. The total installed power of renewable energy is 87%.
The critical energy structure in Portugal was sufficiently encouraging political and business leaders to start working on the transformation of the national energy map. Today’s results show that a big step has been made in the past two decades despite all obstacles. The European Union’s energy policy and the commitment to green energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions have also affected the energy policy.
An additional motive for investing in renewable sources in the country was the creation of a joint Iberian market between Portugal and Spain, which was a positive signal and access to a larger number of consumers for investors.
The increased share of renewable energy sources in total production in Portugal has created additional positive effects. As a result, the country has been declining in the last few years.
According to some estimates, the price of electricity decreased by about 3.5 %, precisely as a result of renewable energy sources and reduced production costs. It is estimated that the development of the renewable energy sector contributed to reducing costs for citizens and companies and savings on the basis of 6.1 billion euros.
Investments in renewable energy sources for Portugal are significant not only in terms of energy transition and energy independence. The benefits are positive for the whole economy. The larger share of renewable energy sources has increased the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy and created new jobs.
According to the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy, investments in new facilities for renewable energy have created more than 45,000 jobs.