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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Portugal generates 70% of power from renewables....

Solar power plant (Serpa, Portugal)
Solar power plant (Serpa, Portugal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Krafla Geothermal Station.
English: Krafla Geothermal Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Record-breaking Portugal generates 70 per cent of power from renewables

Favourable weather conditions credited with record performance for a European country

Almost three quarters of the electricity consumed in Portugal during the first quarter of the year came from renewable sources, according to new figures from the country's grid operator REN.
The company confirmed this week that the combination of favourable weather conditions and the country's investment in wind and hydro-electricity capacity meant 70 per cent of electricity was generated by renewable technologies during the first three months of the year.
The figures show that hydroelectric output rose 312 per cent year-on-year, accounting for 37 per cent of total consumption, while wind energy generation rose 60 per cent, delivering 27 per cent of total consumption.
The performance is likely to have resulted in a significant emission reductions, given output from coal and gas-fired power stations fell 29 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, compared with the first quarter of 2012.
The surge in renewable power also offered a boost to Portugal's economy as it allowed the country to export electricity equivalent to six per cent of national consumption.
However, the figures also showed that the recent decline in Portuguese energy demand has slowed. In 2012, energy consumption fell six per cent year-on-year, largely as a result of the economic slowdown. But in a statement REN's João Milheiro Batista said that power consumption in the first quarter fell by just 0.4 per cent when corrected for temperature effects and working days, adding that "in March there was even an upturn, with 4.7 per cent growth, or 1.6 per cent corrected for temperature and business days".
The figures represent the latest in a series of record for Portugal's renewable energy sector and are likely to mark a record for any major economy.
They also follow hot on the heels of a new report from the IEA suggesting global installed solar PV capacity is approaching 100GW and data from the Chinese government showing wind energy output rose 41 per cent last year to 100.8 billion kilowatt hours.

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