January 11 (Renewables Now) - Renewable power plants met about 44% of Portugal's electricity consumption in 2017, shows data from the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy (APREN).
The country produced 11.9 TWh of wind power, making this the leading green energy source. Wind is followed by hydropower facilities, with 7.3 TWh generated, bioenergy plants with 2.8 TWh and photovoltaic (PV) arrays with 0.8 TWh.
In 2017, thanks to renewable power plants, the average price of electricity in the wholesale market fell to EUR 18.3 (USD 21.8) per MWh, representing savings to the consumer of EUR 727 million. The country also saved EUR 770 million in fossil fuel imports and offset 8.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, APREN stated in its press release.
With the goal to increase Portugal's energy independence, in line also with the objectives of decarbonisation under the Paris Agreement, APREN together with the Sustainable Earth System Association (ZERO) are calling for greater investments in 2018, especially in solar and bioenergy projects.
"2017 was a year full of challenges for the electricity sector in Portugal, as the extreme drought condition demonstrated the importance and necessity of a diversified energy mix, in which the interconnections with the outside and the hydroelectric pumping have played a key role in the prices and security of supply," say APREN and ZERO.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.19)