For the first time in approximately four decades, the country’s renewable energy generation exceeded its demand.
According to a report by the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, Portugal’s clean energy supplied 103.6 percent of the country’s energy in March. The data was cited from REN, the nation’s transmission system operator.
On some days, Portugal had to rely on fossil fuels to complement the country’s electricity supply. But overall, clean energy won out. “Last month’s achievement is an example of what will happen more frequently in the near future. 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,” said the report.
“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.”
On March 7, Portugal sourced 86 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; by March 11, it reached a maximum 143 percent. Hydroelectric (55 percent) and wind (42 percent) accounted for most of the clean energy generated during March.
The tiny coastal nation, which is home to just over 10.3 million people, seeks to become carbon-neutral by 2050. With three decades to go, this may be a feasible goal. However, it will face many challenges, as IFLScience points out.
Fortunately, Portugal is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact and become self-sufficient. When the seasons change and cold revisit the Iberian Peninsula, spectators will see if the fluctuating electricity demands affect the nation’s ability to outpace fossil fuels.
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