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Wind Energy in Portugal

2020 wind energy numbers

In 2020, there were no new wind farms installed in Portugal. However, additional capacity was added to existing wind farms and corresponded, in total, to 41 MW. In this sense, by the end of 2020, 5,478 MW was operating in the country, corresponding to  38% of the national total renewable operational capacity. The wind-based electrical energy in 2020 was 12.36 TWh meeting 25% of the country’s electricity demand.

Considering the overall renewable power capacity installed in Portugal, the electricity production in 2020 reached 64% of the national consumption, a small decrease when compared to the previous year. On 25 October 2020 between 03:00 to 08:15h, continental Portugal met 100% of its electricity needs with wind energy during several periods. The instantaneous electricity demand met by wind energy during this period was 105%.

Please review Portugal’s chapter in the 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 5,478 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in Portugal increased by 41 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

Portugal produces 12.4 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 25% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

In 2020, the targets for renewable power capacity by 2030 were published in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), as in most European Countries and established by the Portuguese Law for the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050 (RCN2050). Targets are ambitious and by 2030 an expected wind power capacity of 9.3 GW (including overcapacity, repowering procedures and 300 MW for offshore wind energy systems) is projected, representing an increase of more than 3.7 GW regarding 2020. The expected wind power capacity scenarios by 2050 ranges between 12.0 to 13.0 GW onshore and 0.2 to 1.3 GW offshore.

Some legislations were published in 2020, of which the most relevant was the Ordinance No. 10835/2020 from 4th of November establishing the “Reduction in the power of production under a special regime that benefits from a guaranteed remuneration or other subsidized support scheme for remuneration”. This is especially relevant for the wind energy producers that are still beneficiating from feed-in-tariff (FIT) and almost entering in a market-based price tariff.

Progress & Operational Details

Wind power cumulative capacity increased 41 MW. The first (floating) offshore wind park with 25.2 MW was installed in Portugal. The remaining installed capacity corresponds to overplanting capacity on current installed wind parks. By the end of 2020, the cumulative installed capacity was distributed over 263 wind parks, with 2,779 wind turbines. The Portuguese wind power fleet generated 12.3 TWh meeting more than 25% of electricity demand.

The wind share of the total renewable production decreased by 9% from 2019 to 39%. This decrease was due to the increased hydropower production (43.6%) attributable to a wet year aligned with a less windy year. The average wind power production at full capacity stood at 2,257 hours (capacity factor 26%), indicating a 10% decrease over 2019 (2,503 hours). The Portuguese transmission system operator (TSO) indicated an annual wind generation index of 0.94. This represents a 12% decrease in the index compared to 2019. This decrease is explained by the less wind expected on winter and spring months.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

National R&D priorities for 2020 kept focused on training services for offshore wind industry, smart grid facilities and new tools and methodologies to maximize the penetration of renewable energy from a grid security operation point-of-view and a market perspective. Most R&D activities are taking place at the main Portuguese institutes and universities and are funded through national and/or European programs.

The Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT) invested nearly 671 million EUR (821 million USD) in science and technology in 2020. Approximately 150 million EUR (184 million USD) was for R,D&D and innovation projects, while 152 million EUR (186 million USD) went towards scientific jobs. These numbers represent a 2 % decrease in total investment, 4% increase in R,D&D investment, and a 6% decrease in scientific job investment compared to 2019.

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