Renewable energy averages 95 pct share in Portugal in month of April, 90 pct in year to date

The Algarve Lagos solar farm in Portugal.

The first four months of 2024 have seen “historic” levels of renewable energy generation in Portugal, culminating in an “historic” 94.9 per cent of consumption being met by renewables in April.

It has been nearly 50 years since renewable energy so dominated Portugal’s electricity consumption, when the only game in town was hydroelectricity, which saw significant expansion following the Second World War. 

It is the fourth consecutive month, according to Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), Portugal’s network operator, that has seen renewable energy values exceed 80 per cent – with renewable energy generation providing 91 per cent of demand in March, 88 per cent in February, and 81 per cent in January.  

Despite Portugal’s reputation as a land drenched in sun, hydroelectricity continues to dominate. Over the first four months of 2024, renewable generation supplied 90% of electricity consumption, with hydro providing 48 per cent, wind 30 per cent, solar PV 7 per cent, and biomass 6 per cent. 

Despite only supplying 7 per cent, solar PV is nevertheless growing in Portugal, and has seen peaks above 2,100MW. April was the biggest month for solar PV in Portugal, where it covered 10.5 per cent of the country’s electricity consumption. 

Conversely, generation from fossil gas supplied only 9% of consumption in the first four months, an 86 per cent fall since the same period a year ago, the REN statement said.

Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.

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