Portugal is Capable of Reaching Up to 10 GW of Wind Power Until 2020

Members of the Portuguese Renewable Energies Association discussed APREN’s proposal on the European renewable energy targets for 2020 which is to be submitted to the Portuguese government shortly.

MEGAJOULE’s executive board member Miguel Ferreira attended last week’s workshop at APREN in Lisbon. The EU’s directive on renewable energy sets ambitious targets for all Member States, such that the EU will reach a 20% share of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and a 10% share of renewable energy specifically in the transport sector.

During the first half of this year European Union Member States must prepare their renewable energy action plans, according to the renewable energies directive. This action plan must state the national renewable energy targets for 2020 for each of the three sectors: renewable electricity, renewable transports and renewable heating & cooling, as well as the roadmap of policies and measures to be undertaken for achieving the targets.

In the case of Portugal the national target for renewables is 31%, from a starting point of 20,5% in 2005. MEGAJOULE’s executive board member Miguel Ferreira thinks that this is not a difficult target to be achieved, considering the continuation of the present policies. He believes that “through an increase of effort in support policies this goal can be surpassed”.

Miguel Ferreira says that “there are enough renewable resources in Portugal like hydro, wind energy and solar to achieve a very high penetration of renewables in the electricity sector. Additionally to that solar thermal can have a very important contribution for the heating and cooling sector.”

Wind power has been, in the last years, the fastest growing source of energy for electricity production worldwide. Installed wind energy capacity in Portugal reached around 3500 MW in 2009 and it is expected to reach 8500 MW by 2020.

Miguel Ferreira thinks “that considering the level of wind resource and the expected improvement of wind turbine technology, it could be possible to go further in the next decade and maybe reach up to 10 000 MW of wind capacity. However, issues like the present value of the feed-in tariff, the access to the grid and environmental restrictions would have to be improved for that to become possible.”

APREN is still evaluating the three sectors and definitive numbers will be available by the end of February. Nevertheless Prof. Sá da Costa, President of APREN, says that “concerning renewable electricity we should go over the expected targets.” Regarding the next area he says that “Portugal should also be able to reach the target of 10% in the renewable transportation sector or could even slightly exceed it.”

But he is concerned about the third area of the action plan and says that “the renewable heating and cooling sector forms a problem because adequate scientific data is lacking”. Prof. Sá da Costa thinks that Portugal could have difficulties reaching its target of 31 % due to the underdeveloped sector of renewable heating and cooling, but he adds that there will be a clearer picture available next month.

Megajoule, as the Portuguese market leader in independent renewable energy consultancy, is strongly committed to promote alternative and sustainable energy solutions. The main focus is to deliver expertise in a wide range of technical subjects of wind energy from wind measurements to independent project due diligence. In addition to Megajoule’s services in wind energy, Megajoule also offers advice on solar energy and biomass projects.