rss
121

Portugal reaches 100% renewables, ends fossil fuel subsidies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Portugal’s renewable energy sources generated enough power to exceed total grid demand across the month of March, a new report has found, setting a standard that is expected to become the norm for the European nation.

According to Portuguese grid operator, REN, renewable energy output over the month reached 4,812GWh, surpassing the nation’s total electricity needs for March, which only topped 4,647GWh.

In that time, power generated by Portugal’s hydroelectric dams accounted for 55 per cent of monthly consumption – boosted by drought-breaking rainfall of four times the monthly average – and wind power, 42 per cent.

The achievement comes nearly one year after hydro, wind, and solar power helped push the Iberian country to run on 100 per cent renewable electricity for 107 hours straight. Last March, however, the average renewables supply was 62 per cent.

The new record coincides with the move by the Portuguese government, last Tuesday, to suspend annual subsidies of around €20 million for guaranteed power supplies paid to producers – most of which goes to fossil fuel plants left in stand-by mode.

“Last month’s achievement is an example of what will happen more frequently in the near future,” said the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association and the Sustainable Earth System Association in a report published last week.

“It is expected that by 2040 the production of renewable electricity will be able to guarantee, in a cost-effective way, the total annual electricity consumption of mainland Portugal.”

The group noted that while fossil fuel plants still worked for short periods to complement the electricity supply, those were fully compensated by other periods of greater renewable production.

“These data, besides indicating a historical milestone in the Portuguese electricity sector, demonstrate that renewable energy can be relied upon as a secure and viable source with which to completely meet the country’s electricity demands.”

The effort was also praised by Green MEP Claude Turmes, who cited Portugal’s example as evidence that the EU should support a renewable energy target of more than 27 per cent for 2030.

As Euractive reports, the European Parliament, Commission and member states are currently negotiating an update to the bloc’s renewable rules, with MEPs calling for a 35 per cent renewables target, while the EU executive and national capitals favour the current target.

Portugal’s renewable energy target, meanwhile, is not all that much higher. According to the IEA, it has a 2020 target of just 31 per cent; 59.6 per cent to come through renewable electricity demand, 35.9 per cent from heating and cooling, and 11.3 per cent from the transport sector.  

Pocket
  • George Darroch

    27%. How pathetic. 80% by 2030 is entirely appropriate, 100% by 2040.

    We see in another article on this site that clean energy spending in Europe has dramatically reduced. The lazy or cowardly politicians and bureaucrats of Europe have decided that they’ve done enough and can sit on their laurels for a decade or two.

    • Peter F

      In discussing European Energy Policy, there is often confusion between total energy and electricity use. 80 % of electricity from non FF sources by 2030 may well happen. The Iberian peninsular, France, Italy and the UK will be there. Germany won’t be far off and the Scandinavian countries will be pretty close to zero carbon electricity by then.
      While I don’t support new nuclear I would be happy to extend the life of nuclear plants to reduce coal burning.
      The challenge is transport, heating and industry, but just like smart phones expanded faster than any official prediction, in the next few years with falling costs and the increasing threat of diesel bans in cities diesel light vehicles sales will be replaced pretty quickly by BEV’s. Then all we have to do is get Europeans hooked on heat pumps for heating

      • Jolly Roger

        I use a heat pump ( the air con ) for heating ( heaps cheaper than firewood for me ) but when the temperature outside drops to below zero it sometimes turns itself off. Luckily there aren’t too many below zero events. How would they work in Europe where its alot colder ?

        • RobertO

          Hi Jolly Roger, watch the program on ABC called “Grand Designs”, as they will often feature heat pumps but ground units not air units. They bury the absorption pipes below ground about 1 Metre – 1.5 Metres where the temperature is often very stable. They measure the temperature to work out how long the pipe work has to be to enable the system to work. One was in the Welsh hills and was some 50 metres in length (my memory is going so I think that was the distance). Also different gasses have different low points at which they can operate so ask next time as it not good to get an air cooled unit that cut out at – 3 Degrees C when the unit is required to operate at – 15 Degrees C

          • Hettie

            I was particularly in pressed by a couple of builds that needed very deep piling, and the piping to collect the deep ground heat were included in the piles.
            Lateral thinking gone vertical. Very clever.

          • itdoesntaddup

            In the Welsh hills you have lots of space for your underground heating coils, and perhaps even a nearby mine shaft you could take advantage of to run them at a deeper (and therefore warmer) level. Not so in cities, where housing is cheek by jowl. That is before we look at the expense of the installation.

        • rob

          block ren bullshit…….he is only here to cause crap and hurt people he thinks are clover than him

          • nakedChimp

            rob, take this paranoia elsewhere. Ren might be not a glowing renewables fanatic, but he’s far from talking BS.
            Trolls look different and most of us here are grown up enough that we can take the occasional counter-idea, or do you want reneweconomy.com.au to become an echo-chamber?

          • rob

            if you had read what he wrote about me and/or to me before I blocked him you may change your mind……i shall not mention him again in comments but he is a racist ageist, female hating and especially loves to slag off at people who have mental issues like my self……It is hard to forgive and forget!

        • nakedChimp

          There are modern air heat pumps that are designed for colder climates.. work down to -10..-20 deg C if I remember correctly. But yeah, for most of Oz those aren’t needed..

          • MacNordic

            There are indeed – they actually are pretty widespread in Scandinavia, which is decidedly cold in winter…
            Mitsubishi and Fujitsu supply units working down to -30°C.
            Really popular for holiday homes as well – cheap to install and combines favorably with that wood burner for the coldest of winter evenings. More on it (with data from as early as 2010!):
            researchgate(dot)net/publication/273035545_Air_source_heat_pumps_and_their_role_in_the_Swedish_energy_system

          • Hettie

            On the subject of heat pumps, does anyone know of a small scale heat pump or electric instantaneous water heater.? My hot water is instantaneous gas, and usage is almost entirely for showers, so not a big cost, but the gas bottle is $90/year, which is annoying. I absolutely don’t want storage hot water. Instantaneous for me. I have Googled to no effect.
            Any ideas?

          • Martin

            My solution was to ditch the large bottles and buy two 8.5 kilo ones. No ongoing rental and the refills are about the same price per kilo.

          • Hettie

            That makes sense financially, but with no car to take the bottles for refilling, and the ugly prospect of one running out in mid shower in mid winter, it looks like keeping the big bottle, refilled from the truck so it never runs out, is the best option for me.
            At least I have researched the options.

          • Rod

            I do that with my gas cook top. Works a treat. Gas bottle hire is a rort.

          • MacNordic

            Maybe have a look for “hygienic hot water”, “continous” and “sanitary” are also used by some manufacturers.
            From what I can remember, Daikin Altherma ECH²O (also sold under the ROTEX brand; not sure about availability in Australia) heat pumps should fit the description:
            A monobloc solution with heat pump on top, hot water tank as heat store below and a fresh- water coil running bottom to top for hygenic fresh water.

            Another possibility would be to take a small heatpump air-to- water and use a hygienic solar hot water tank with two heat exchangers to store the heat. The lower heat exchanger is fed by the heat pump, the one running the entire length is for hot water:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33088a890681590f16cb1a8fd0eeeb48aed40a82264826c32758218b3e703b3d.jpg
            An optional additional heat exchanger could be utilised for a solar thermal connection.

            Cost wise this is unlikely to make sense, unfortunately: The ROI would – just for the heat pump – be well above 10-20 years, not counting the electricity usage or installation.

            Another, most likely cheaper solution would be to go for an instantaneous electric hot water heater and maybe add a solar panel or two, if you really want to get rid of the gas (which is most likely the cheapest possible solution by far at 90$ with installed hardware!). Stumbling blocks for the electric version: Sufficient flow for showering draws a high current and your electrical connection will have to be able to accommodate that.

            Link to the Daikin and Rotex:
            daikin(dot)eu/en_us/product-group/domestic-hot-water-heat-pump.html
            rotex-heating(dot)com/products/heat-pump/air-to-water-heat-pump/hpsu-compact.html
            (as always: no affiliation whatsoever with linked companies)
            Hope this helps – sorry for the OT!

          • Hettie

            Thank you. You have put a lot of effort into this, but as you say, it is unlikely to save anything.
            Looks like I should stick with what I have.

          • Michael Dufty

            There are electric instantaneous systems available. You can get a cheap one that plugs into a standard power point, but will only warm water a little at a lowish flow rate. They are pretty standard in warm places like Singapore and work well there, but won’t get you a hot shower on a cold morning. The really effective ones need a three phase power supply so cost a bit more to install. We have a Wilson 13kw unit running the shower at work, which is quite effective.

          • Hettie

            Thanks Michael. As the objective is to minimise costs, which are really not that great, I think I’m best to stick with the status quo.
            The annual bottle rent is $90, and as best as I can ascertain, hot water is costing about $10 per month, heating about $100 per month over 6 months.
            RCAC will eliminate most of that heating cost, though I can imagine there may be times when I would want a quick boost, so the gas heater will stay. There is also a barbecue connection which I installed at the time of building, for added resale value, though I have never used it. All reasons to retain the gas.
            Nevertheless, I’m glad I’ve checked it all out.
            Thanks again.

          • MacNordic

            A pleasure!

          • wideEyedPupil

            https://www.facebook.com/groups/996387660405677/search/?query=Hot%20water

            Tim Forcey started an Energy Efficient Electric Home Facebook group and these questions are asked regularly, lots of EE experts in the group.

          • Hettie

            Thanks for the link. I’ll have a look.

        • Hettie

          The new ones are rated to work between -15°C and +50°C.
          How old is yours. Or are you talking °F?

          • Jolly Roger

            I suppose it could be 10 years old – came with the house I bought 4 years ago so I dont really know. Good to know they can work better than mine. But I get by with it nonetheless.

      • Ren Stimpy

        Well done Portugal in utilising their reneawable resources, but nuclear power is probably going to be necessary in Poland and Belarus for them to go emissions free. PS I’m not a nuclear fanboy in the slightest.

        • Peter F

          Not really. Poland’s electrical demand is 150 TWh. Germany is only a little larger than Poland and it will generate about 240 TWh this year from renewables. The average German wind turbine generates about 3.5 GWh per year but the new large rotor 3-4MW machines are 10-20 GWh/yr each so with the same density of wind turbines that Germany has, Poland could generate about 400 TWh from renewables using its old coal mines for pumped hydro

          • Ren Stimpy

            How much of that is offshore wind? Germany has a much larger coastline than Poland with half of it on the Atlantic side. Is it as windy in the Baltic as it is on the Atlantic side of Germany?

          • Peter F

            Only 10% of Germany’s wind is offshore and Poland is examining very large wind farms in the Baltic Sea so even if they can’t get the same efficiency as North Sea plants they will still have more potential capacity than they need

        • Mario Lanza

          How’s that Chernobyl radiation working out for Poland and Belarus?

          • Joe

            ….the sievert meters are still pinging away

          • Ren Stimpy

            The air in Krakow and Warsaw is now more polluted than Beijing. Serious unhealthy to go outside while breathing.

      • Tom Andersen

        Germany is going more on fossil fuels. The plan is to raise coal consumption by 20% or so over the next three years. Carbon output is rising already. (Nuclear plant shutdowns )

        • Hettie

          Let’s wait and see on that. Despite the climate, Germany has huge domestic solar uptake, and it has good wind resources.
          I suspect that the rapidly changing economics of RE vs coal may force a rethink before construction of new coalers is too far advanced.

          • Peter F

            There is one new coal plant under construction it is a one GW unit that should have been opened in 2013. last year 2.4 GW of coal was closed and 6 GW of coal and gas are awaiting permission to close. There are no more plants anywhere in the planning system

          • MacNordic

            Further on that “new” coal plant (“Datteln 4”): started tests late last year, damage was found to the pressure vessel. 35.000 welding joints need to be re- checked. Earliest new test start: Q4, 2018. Delay into 2019 or later possible/ likely.
            PPAs currently being contested by offtakers due to delays and high price (RE brought down wholesale prices quite a lot).

            Start of planning: 1993; Start of construction: 2007
            Only coal power plant “under construction” in Western Europe.

        • Peter F

          This is not correct. Coal and gas output has declined from 296 TWh in 2013 to 245 in 2017. It is down a further 100% YOY this year.

        • MacNordic

          Sorry, but emissions are not growing – even though ~9GW of nuclear have been switched off in 2011.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/874f436d264c2c0c1f475b352f2444f255d5c0b904d3b0183d6e4b6d934a12c5.png
          [source: Umweltbundesamt]

          Additional real& scheduled retirements 2012-2019:
          9.65GW of black coal
          7.77GW of gas
          2 GW of mineral oil
          2.5 GW of nuclear
          [source: bundesnetzagentur(dot)de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Sachgebiete/Energie/Unternehmen_Institutionen/Versorgungssicherheit/Erzeugungskapazitaeten/KWSAL/KWSAL_Statistik_2017_12.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2
          – note: 1.3GW of nuclear added above, as retired at end of 2017]

          Around 8GW of lignite power stations could be retired today, as they are currently only producing for export – surplus production is 8-15GW most of the time… Total remaining nuclear is ~9GW, so (nearly) completely covered even today.

          Definitely no “plan” to emit more carbon. Quite on the contrary. Politics is urgently looking to find 100 million t of CO² emission cuts to 2020/ 2022…

          • itdoesntaddup

            You ignore that Germany plans to close ALL nuclear by 2022.

            https://www.energy-charts.de/energy.htm?source=all-sources&period=monthly&year=2017

          • MacNordic

            Not at all: only 9 GW remaining from 7 plants as of today.
            Closure of 9GW in 2011 overnight led to no statistically significant emission increase.

            2017 nuclear production from 8 plants (10.8GW) then in operation: 72.11TWh
            2017 total export: 55.14TWh
            net delta: 16.97TWh (to be covered alternatively)

            2017 RE generation for comparison: 210TWh from 112GW of capacity.
            Planned RE addtition to year- end 2021: 31GW, which would generate ~58TWh at 2017 capacity/ generation ratio, thus ~3.4 times the shortfall…
            => no likely emission hike after retirement of the nuclear fleet

          • tomandersen

            I think they will hit 1000 again, time will tell. They will have to include imported electricity and companies generating their own when things go sideways.

          • Ren Stimpy

            Which they have been doing while simultaneously, but more gradually, reducing coal fired generation since 2013

            https://www.energy-charts.de/energy.htm?source=all-sources&period=annual&year=all

          • MacNordic

            For a quick glance:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3a6eb86c08cf585bf2b4500591c31400e6caa552db5cedc7464256c2e1ee78ab.png
            Note: 2017 data estimated in August, NOT year- end data!
            (This time I double checked the language;-)

          • Ren Stimpy

            Danke schoen.

          • wideEyedPupil

            Good graph; decent story. Net export increases due to coal fired power going to nuclear poster child France.

          • MacNordic

            Thanks;-)

          • Ren Stimpy

            Do you have a translated chart link for people who nicht sprechen sie Deutsche ja?

          • MacNordic

            Sorry, for some reason or the other I copied in the wrong language chart… The correct one:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5dc016810dd54bbd6f77653c9547edac1d309afca4e0b4f2c87792751c33088e.png

          • tomandersen

            It seems there are expansion plans for coal in Germany. The Germans really want their program to work, but as the graph shows its not.

            From around the web:
            German court rules in favor of destroying forest for coal mine

            Germany Plans to Raze Towns for Brown Coal and Cheap Energy

            EU carbon market emissions rise for first time in 7 years in 2017

            https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/

            http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/op-ed-german-open-pit-coal-mine-can-chop-down-last-of-ancient-forest/article/508422

            https://www.euractiv.com/section/emissions-trading-scheme/news/eu-carbon-market-emissions-rise-for-first-time-in-7-years-in-2017/

          • MacNordic

            Oh, you mean that- bit different and not related to any plans of extending capacity:
            Both the forest and the “towns” (villages, really) are part of an ongoing “Bergbauplan” (mining plan), set out till 2040/ 2045 and a prime example of bureaucratic inertia.
            The plan was signed off, so excavation preparation has to proceed – even if all signs point to a phase out of lignite well before that time.

            The mine is the responsiblility of the “Bergamt” (Mining Authority, state level) from the government side, while energy politics is largely a federal thing, with some responibility at state level in the Ministry for Economics.
            Different department, so could as well be on Mars…

            The mine extension is not for any new power stations, just to feed the existing stations – of which two have recently been closed down. Two (youngest and largest) remain…
            There is just one coal fired power station under construction in the whole of western Europe, as mentioned above.

          • tomandersen

            Thanks for the graph (I am looking at the 2017 one below from Macnordic) . German CO2 has been rising slightly since 2014. The total emissions are about to rise again as the real cliff in nuclear shutdowns is 24 months away. On top of that Germany will start to import more Polish coal based power, not sure if that’s on the graph or not. Also note that the 2020 target is hopeless.

          • MacNordic

            It has – by a max of 0.7%. 2017 is 0.2% above 2014.
            Energy industries share has gone down by 48 million t CO² during that time.
            As explained below, the chance of emissions going up significantly is slim at best – rather unlikely, really.
            Imports from Poland are also rather unlikely- capacity in Poland is restricted; recent flows have mostly been from France and Austria.

            Net saldo has been a HUGE export surplus, with all the emissions being counted in Germany (as in graph below; emissions are counted at point of origin – with electricity point of generation – under the international framework).
            Hope this explains it a bit;-)

          • wideEyedPupil

            Germany is going to miss it’s emissions reductions targets made to the EU most likely though.

      • wideEyedPupil

        tonyseba.com

  • Joe

    This is the first time I have ever heard of the Portugal being a RE powerhouse. Why has it been kept a secret? Go well the Portugal, the Fossil Fuellers are on their last legs.
    It’s a bit off topic but I saw over the weekend that England will be ‘Coal-power’ free by 2025. The last time I checked it was still a ‘Conservative Government’ sitting in the Big Chair. I wonder if our ‘Monash Forum’ groupies are taking notes about Coal events in the ‘Motherland’.

    • Rod

      Saw a post today calling them the “Coal ash Forum”. Much more fitting and leaves Monash’s name for nobler pursuits.

      • Joe

        Even our Coal Energy Minister, the Joshie, wants the Monash Forum groupies to bury the name ‘Monash Forum’…any coal pit will do to bury the name and the groupies with it.

      • Joe

        Coal Ashes to Coal Ashes, Coal Dust to Coal Dust….and The Monash Forum with it.

      • Steven Gannon

        Katharine Murphy, in an article today for The Guardian, referred to them only as a “ginger group.” Why validate the bastards.

        • Rod

          She is probably correct but there are lots of other names I could think of.
          “A ginger group is a group of people who have similar ideas and who work together, especially within a larger organization, to try to persuade others to accept their ideas.”

          • My understanding of the meaning of “ginger” in the “ginger group” context (from the Insiders’ “Talking Pictures”) relates to the function of ginger being placed in the anus of a horse to make it act more lively: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingering

            It’s probably where the term to “G up” originates. 🙂

          • Rod

            From the wiki article:
            gingering “would be considered to be an act of cruelty in any civilized community”
            They are spot on there with that lot.

          • In fact, Rod, the “ginger group” appears to be inextricably linked with the “suppository of all wisdom”! 😉

        • wideEyedPupil

          I’m not sure KM was the one to “coin” that term for these troglodytes.

    • Hettie
      • rob

        Wow Hettie that is good stuff to read,,,,,,,,if only here!

        • My_Oath

          And it misses a big point as well. (The last I read on the matter – some time ago, so it may not still hold true)… was that since the plan was rolled out, drug use in Portugal has fallen.

      • Good stuff indeed! It’s amazing how progressive, socialist government can achieve. Much better than the neoliberal, coalignition government we have. 🙁

        • Laurinda Seabra

          Not SO FAST … on environmental devastation and corruption … PORTUGAL leads … (Oil and gas exploration both onshore and offshore using fracking, the crisis with Tejo pollution from Celtejo, etc) … let’s get the facts right please.

      • Joe

        Nicely spotted young Hettie. See what government can do when they treat drugs as a ‘health issue’ rather than a ‘criminal issue’. The so called ‘War on Drugs’ is a never ending fight that no government is ever going to ‘win’. Cigarettes and Alcohol are also addictive substances and are killers but somehow all good to be legalised and Government has some social support programmes to help people get off these substances….why not ‘other substances’ as well, like the Portugal.

        • Hettie

          It also adds to the evidence that housing the homeless as a *first* step enables people to get off drugs, get healthier, get work, reduce a lot of other problems that contribute to addiction, but keeping housing as a prize for getting clean just doesn’t work.

    • Hettie

      They have been working on “smoke free zones” since the 1950s. Because of the health, no, illness effects of smoke pollution. Vast amounts of coal were used in domestic fireplaces, causing air in London and other cities to rival India or China. Open fires were replaced by oil or gas boilers to run hydronic heating and provide hot water.

    • Calamity_Jean

      “This is the first time I have ever heard of the Portugal being a RE powerhouse. Why has it been kept a secret?”

      There’s this article from 2013:

      “Is 70 Percent Renewable Power Possible? Portugal Just Did It For 3 Months”
      https://thinkprogress.org/is-70-percent-renewable-power-possible-portugal-just-did-it-for-3-months-112203b1e542/

      Of course, this is just the electrical supply. To be completely fossil fuel free they need to replace their FF vehicles with electric equivalents, among other things. This means they will need more electricity, especially solar which they apparently don’t have much of right now.

      • Joe

        Calamity, thanks for sharing

  • PacoBella

    All our angst about the NEG still begs the question about having policies of any sort in the other sectors (as in the heating/cooling and transport targets mentioned above). It shows how hard it is to get an intelligent discussion on policy going in Australia when all the media want to focus on is the politics. It grates when journalists as experienced as Barry Cassidy lets Josh assert “coal is the the cheapest and most reliable source of dispatchable power” without being able to justify his position. The old Goebbels tactic of repeating bullshit often enough until it becomes cemented in the mind of the public!

    • Sadly, PacoBella, a journalists’ job is to ask questions, not to argue an opposite point of view. 🙁

      • RobertO

        Hi Gregory J. OLSEN Esq The journalists need to know their subject so that the questions they ask relate to getting the truth out. To simply accept any answer given is failing your audience, it allows the pollies to lie (and hence cheat). The statement on TV by Mosh Fiddleberg (Josh Frydenberg) made on “NSW will have blackouts if Liddell is allowed to close in 2022” is actually correct (but short on the truth in that the AEMO actually said “NSW will have blackouts if Liddell is allowed to close in 2022 if NSW does nothing to replace that supply). NSW has 5 Wind Farms under construction and another 5 approved, and then there is all the solar being added. AGL have said they will add new generation also so where is the truth in mosh fiddleberg statement.

        • Gregory Olsen

          Agreed 100% there RobertO. There’s zero truth in the Feral Coalignition Government’a media releases or policies on renewable energy. Sadly, that’s exacerbated by media being mostly owned by supporters of fossil fuels. 🙁

    • RobertO

      HI PacoBella I watched “mosh fiddleberg” claim the “AEMO has stated that NSW will face the prospect of power blackout if we let Liddell close in 2022”, which is actually correct but only if you leave out the rest of the statement “If NSW does nothing”. No wonder the mug punters in NSW believe it the lie “mosh fiddleberg ” said it was so. The Jurno are letting the main stream public think so, instead of knowing the answer before they start and putting the lies the pollies are telling on the spot. NSW has 5 wind farms approved and a different 5 Wind farm under construction, then it has how much solar under construction along with the smaller business and household solar (and how many are adding Batteries. Stan Grant did the same when he asked rural Qlds about Adani Coal Mine or Great Barrier Reef (RE employs more people that Adani ever will, except if your my fiend matti mines caravan parker with the seven new and there will be 17000 jobs for the adani mine, but fully automated also. He an economist so he must be able to add up 1 + 3 = 7 the same as my fiend the 5 minute man and we need it 1 July 2021 because it stop my mates making a killing in the market place.

      • Hettie

        Robert, may I gently suggest that you read your posts over very carefully, and edit the errors of spelling and grammar, and also some of your arguments, which are frankly unintelligible. You must know what you mean, but if you want us to understand, you will have to explain more clearly.

  • Jon

    Congratulations Portugal!!!
    ~100% over a month is impressive.
    It’s great to see them cutting the guaranteed power subsidies, €20M is a big saving.

    • heinbloed

      Yes!

      The capacity payments are used to keep the atom- and fossil sector operating.

  • Thought is Free

    55% of which is hydro that crucially, is dispatchable. Pity we stopped building hydro and only now are starting Snowy2.

    • Ant..

      There is an abandoned gold mine in FNQ which may be turned into a pumped hydro facility

      • Hettie

        22,000 suitable sites were identified in Aus last year. That gold mine was one of them.

        • Ant..

          Not to mention Tasmania

    • wideEyedPupil

      Off river pumped hydro energy storage is much better than on-river mega projects like Snowy 2.0.

  • heinbloed

    Congratulation!

    Note that Portugal despite being a sunny place is only starting with the large scale PV installations.The energy future looks even brighter than just 100% RE-power.

    http://www.pveurope.eu/News/Solar-Generator/Europe-s-largest-unsubsidised-PV-plant-in-Southern-Portugal

    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/03/20/cox-energy-secures-ppa-for-660-mw-of-solar-in-spain-and-portugal/

    and so on …

  • Mario Lanza

    I would also like to know why are Portuguese citizens fighting against drilling off the coast of the Algarve, if the government loooooooves renewables so much?

    • Laurinda Seabra

      massive greenwashing aided by the likes of Gulbenkian Foundation , Blue Ocean Foundation (Pingo Doce behind it …) and lots of interest (and profits in sight) in the so called Blue Economy (Main target :- oil/gas exploration and deep sea mining)

  • Paul Rees

    … and still the government is encouraging oil and gas exploration in ecologically important sea and land areas. Why does the government want to pander to oil interests when the country is ideally placed to be a self-sufficient renewables producer and exporter? The answer is ‘corruption at the highest level.’

    • I’m not an expert on this topic but they can still sell these resources, right?

      • Paul Rees

        The deal is that the government leases the sea areas and obtains a (miserably low) revenue from oil or gas extracted – after all costs are recovered by the energy companies. The landed price of these fuels will be no cheaper than currently. The government has crowed about ‘our own oil’ and ‘self sufficiency’ but the landed costs will be the same international price as before with no obligation for the energy companies to land and process hydrocarbons in Portugal. The main anti-oil argument is the environmental threat posed to Portugal’s coastline, especially in the south where tourist is the main industry. Many remember the oil spill from the Prestige in 2002 https://www.algarvedailynews.com/cases/algarve-oil/7803-guilty-verdicts-over-devastating-oil-spill-in-portugal

        • Mario Lanza

          They’ve been wanting to exploit oil off the north coast of Portugal as well.
          Meaning, if there is an oil spill, the whole country is potentially covered in goo because it is heavily populated along the coast.

          Perhaps not directly related but Bahrain just found the motherload of oil to dwarf its current production. Meaning, the price of oil will remain low for the foreseeable future and makes no sense to exploit any of it in Portugal, along one of the busiest sea routes in the world (yup, that’s right) and an active tectonic….eeeerr…”subduction zone”…not an expert 🙂

          Perhaps what the oil companies involved in the exploration of Portugal’s oil just want to ship it to the Gibraltar-San Roque refinery.
          Portugal seems to have one or two refineries of its own but I think they don’t have the capacity to refine more than 330,000 barrels/day.

          It’s sad enough that one can assume the ships passing along its coast dump their trash illegally, it’s a tragedy to think oil exploration will further kill the one nice place in Europe to go for a holiday without getting ripped-off at every location.

          My idea of holiday isn’t exactly going to Portugal to wipe oil off of seagulls and shovel goo into buckets.

        • Thank you for explaining the situation!

          There is nothing I can add to this just a silly story: there is a guy in Hungary who claims to be Jesus and said that he made the oil spill from Prestige disappear.

          He also said local newspapers did not know what happened but left a page empty in respect of his deed…

  • EdBCN

    YEAH PORTUGAL, THE MAN!

  • Ant..

    When you analyse any issue relevant to Australia energy included what you very quickly establish is that it is all about money and only ever about money. As it so happens 1.7M Australians have installed Solar. If the average production per system is 8 kWh per day that would normally cost if purchased from a distributor approximately 0.30c per kWh then the value of self consumed domestic solar production would be $1,480M per annum. If the take up rate for domestic solar was say 500,000 systems added per annum then domestic solar production for self consumption [12 kWh @ 0.58c] would be worth $13,315M in 2025. Lets not forget as the price of power goes up the return on the capital originally expenses increases. And finally the business opportunity given the amount of vacant roof space both domestic and commercial where the owner can installed solar and squeeze themselves between the retailer and consumer and sell PV Production at a price significantly less than current retail. It is not a difficult sum if the value of solar sold was 6,000 kWh plus 3,000 kWh exported to the grid at 0.10102c per kWh then the gross income would be $909.18 divided by the cost of the solar system lets say $7,000 then the ROI would 12.99% [Risk Free]

    • Hettie

      Your calculations seem to assume that average installed solar is only 2kW. New installs are now mosly between 5 and 10, with 10 + becoming more common.
      To keep consumers connected, FiTs must rise, and daily charge must fall, so projections are wild speculation at best.
      Here and now, with a 4 year loan at 8% to finance a system without battery, payback period can be as little as that 4 years, so long as the system is sized to cover all use, and a bit more for after dark usage.
      As panel prices continue to fall, payback time diminishes.

      • Ant..

        I used data that was published elsewhere. The assumption was that the 1.7M included early adopters with system sizes between 1 – 1.5 kW and later adopters 5 kW and that on mix the average production for all systems would average out at 8 kWh per day. Why 5 kW well in many cases FIT is not paid on exports for system sizes in excess of 5 kW which of course changes the payback period. The other variable is that systems are throttled usually to 5 kWh in the moment export also not taken into consideration. The other assumption I believe was production was estimated at an average of 3 kWh/kW. This will vary based on the location of the system. pvoutput.org is a great place to find out what a typical system is producing around Australia in any size range. When it comes to any business opportunity there is a cost to get in and a cost to stay. Based on my own systems performance at less than 0.10c and General Tariff Price of 0.28c per kWh there is an extraordinary business opportunity yet to be realised.

  • farticustheelder

    It is interesting that Portugal has so much hydroelectric generating capacity. That capacity (or at least that part not needed for regular water uses) can serve the purpose of storage in a larger grid.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Well quite. Few countries have hydro resources on the same kind of scale as Portugal or Norway.

  • heinbloed
  • RobertO

    HI Hettie, My Cocky English was never any good (actually my English of any sort was always lousy)
    Mosh Fiddleberg is Josh Fyrdenberg
    The Jurno is “People whom report in News” (paper. radio, or TV)
    matti mines caravan parker is Matthew Canavan
    the 5 munute man is John Pierce
    Mug Punters are NSW Voters

    • Hettie

      Sorry, Robert. I am old enough to have been taught English well at school. I later studied it at university, and I beleive that clear written communication is possible only if care is taken to avoid ambiguity. Without the non- verbal clues that are part of face to face discussion, it is easy to misunderstand or misinterpret.

  • Laurinda Seabra

    Ai, ai, ai … greenwashing BS … Portugal HAS ONLY ACHIEVED a few days using alternative energies (major portion covered by hydro) … regarding fossil fuels, PORTUGAL is on a head-on collision with civic society (that is not part of the greenwashing tribe) … in fact our association has just taken legal steps against the Portuguese gov last Friday (6 April) to try and stop ENI/Galp from drilling (fracking) our west coast in the Algarve/Alentejo. The article is misleading …

    More info on our website http://asmaa-algarve.org

    • Calamity_Jean

      Portugal was supplying 70% renewable electricity for an entire calendar quarter all the way back in 2013.
      Link: https://thinkprogress.org/is-70-percent-renewable-power-possible-portugal-just-did-it-for-3-months-112203b1e542/
      Clearly they have been working on this for a while.

      • Laurinda Seabra

        Well if we take the so called green “hydro” which has enormous negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts out of the mix, Portugal did not do that well, add to that the fact the gov is not really promoting much support for small producers of solar & wind, preferring instead to protect the interests of big energy players … you get a totally different picture. Add to that what sec of state Jorge Sanches said yesterday regarding Fracking (natural gas) (gov appears to be totally pro fracking) to the mix … and we are facing a real devastating future …

        • Calamity_Jean

          I hope your association is successful in defeating the frackers.

          Has Portugal added any new hydroelectric capacity since 2013? If not, that’s good, it means that all of the new renewable output is solar and wind. Regarding older, existing hydroelectric dams, my feeling is that the damage has already been done so you might as well continue using them.

          And as far as “…the gov is not really promoting much support for small producers of solar & wind….” is concerned, you may be fortunate. Too many governments are actively hostile to people who want rooftop solar. Indifference may be the best anyone can hope for.

          • Laurinda Seabra

            Regarding new hydroelectric the answer is yes, they recently approved the construction of another one in the north. 🙁

            Well the barriers are coming up fast and furious against small producers too 🙁

            Thanks we’ll continue on fighting fracking amidst major disinformation, greenwashing, civic society compromised by personal interests and their well-oiled and funded PR machine.

          • Norm

            Portugal or Spain has has solar steam power generator works 24/7..cheaper and more efficient than solar electric…and comparable output covers far less land..
            Fracking is a global crime.. the people involved should be charged with GBH and manslaughter..

            We are in the midst of solar summer, the ice has finally gone.. The only way to store water long term is ICE, Enough each year to maintain the glaciers
            Here in Australia.. We are 4/5th semi desert, our rains come often wrong time ,wrong place and quickly drain away.. 60 years ago it was suggested we should map all the rivers and streams here and build weir’s small and large to retain a lot of that water after the rains… What a great idea!! The silence is deafening..

            Power … Nikolai Tesla rediscovered the answer 100yrs ago ,, big oil / corp sorted him out..

  • Brian Johnston

    Not sure where they get their electricity from, hydro? Wind turbines produce no useable electricity only useless harmonics. Wind turbines are a gigantic fraud

    • Hettie

      Go back under your bridge, troll.

      • Brian Johnston

        To Jerk Hettie. Don’t shoot the messenger. You are critical of others on this site for having poor argument. The debate is not soot from a smokestack which can be filtered it is the scam of CO2 pollution. The same CO2 that is in every glass of coke or a beer. Are we drinking pollution. Hell no. If you new anything about electrical engineering you would realise that wind turbines are ASYNCHRONOUS. The electricity which boils your jug is SYNCHRONOUS and works. Wind turbines produce a heap of useless harmonics termed in the industry as ‘dirty energy’. These harmonics are detrimental to the grid and are through smart meters fraudulently added to consumers power bills and that includes yours you DODO.

        • Hettie

          So Norway, for example, gets almost 100% of its electricity from a source that does not produce usable power?
          How does that work?

          • Brian Johnston

            Norway has hydro. Then along came wind turbines which while they produce electricity (big sigh) the hydro doesn’t need to. When there is no wind the hydro takes up the slack. The turbines produce no electricity. The hydro was doing it all along. Wind turbines are a gigantic scam which only got off the ground because of subsidies and went on to enrich a whole heap of capitalists. First we have the CO2 scam/fraud, then the wind turbine scam/fraud and then the fraud of adding harmonics onto power bills. A consumer can prove the harmonics scam by wiring a smart meter in series with an analogue meter.

          • Hettie

            Oh puhleeeze!
            And do you still believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy?
            And that business operators would invest in a multi-billion dollar business that doesn’t work?
            Well, CCS, but that has been abandoned, and wind power grows exponentially because IT DOES WORK.

          • Hettie

            If you believe that, can I interest you in some shares in a perpetual motion machine?
            Please explain how a wind farm in the Pilliga is splitting water by electrolysis to produce 10 tonnes of Hydrogen a day, if the turbines are not generating electricity?
            It doesn’t matter what force drives the turbines around, steam, water or wind. As long as the generator turbines are turning, power is generated.
            Do notice that of all the people who comment on these pages, you alone claim that wind doesn’t work.
            Have a think about that.

          • Hettie

            For the information of others, I am blocking this offensive, ridiculous monomaniac now.

  • Jon Cloke

    God bless Portugal – and yet here in the UK we continue to be the filthiest child on the block because markets.

    O, apart from our monumental 800lb Chinese gorilla-in-the-room at Hinkley, which we’re going to pretend is environmentally friendly because nuclear. Never mind the obscene cost, lack of safety and the gargantuan tariff costs needed to make it even remotely saleable.

    But if you’re a UK politician with your snout firmly in the nuclear kickback trough, there really isn’t any form of corporate corruption you won’t indulge in..

  • Brian Johnston

    Fossil fuels? They’re on this site as well. Here goes again. Oil and coal are not fossil fuels you morons. Brown coal maybe. Oil and coal are abiotic and driven off the earths magma. Gas from magma. Condensate from gas, oil. Oil through a chemical bacterial action solidifiers into coal. Turning a forest into coal requires extreme heat and pressure. A forest lying on its side turns into a 50′ coal seam 30′ below the surface, not likely

  • Brian Johnston

    Germany is going back to coal fired because wind turbines do not work. Wind turbines will be slowly switched off world wide. Maintenance to high. There are nearly 20,000 wind turbines switched off never to be used again. They just kept building new farms with new subsidies. It is now all over except the court cases against this huge fraud.

  • Brian Johnston

    Reply to Hettie and anyone else who doesn’t understand or who wishes to learn more. Take a hydro or steam/coal fired power station. The generator has to rotate at 3000rpm for 50Hz electricity – the world, or 3600rpm – America, as per law give or take .1%. This creates a steady sinusoidal wave form. The electricity produced is 50/60Hz as per the label on your jug. 50/60Hz is the fundamental wave. Quite simply: Wind turbines spin at all sorts of speeds and produce all sorts of harmonics none of which is the essential 50/60Hz fundamental wave form. A wind turbine cannot and does not work. A wind turbine cannot boil a jug. A wind farm cannot power a city. All wind farms should be shut down and court cases should be started up. In response to the comment – I am the only one saying this and I should think about that – Sites like this attract a lot of loonies. To buy into the wind turbine scam one first needs to buy into the global warming climate change CO2 is a pollutant scam. The planet is in an interglacial. In between Ice Ages or more correctly at the end of an Ice Age with another one expected as in the last 4 interglacials. We should be welcoming warmth not demonising it. Human contribution to global warming is infinitesimal. Interestingly Earth CO2 currently 400ppm – has been 20 times higher – up from 280ppm which was dangerously low. 250ppm represents a tipping point. 150ppm life ceases to exist. Solar panels are only good for heating your own water cylinder. As for shunting your solar power to the boundary, op the street and into a neighbours property to heat their water, forget it. No one should be getting paid to supply solar energy into the grid, another scam.