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Wind Energy in Portugal

2017 wind energy numbers

The wind energy sector achieved a maturity status within the Portuguese power system. In 2017, Portuguese wind farms produced 12.3 TWh, meeting 24.0% of the nation’s electricity demand with wind energy. For the third consecutive year, wind energy covered more than 100% of the electricity demand during certain hours, without any technical problems reported by the Portuguese Transmission System Operator (TSO). The instantaneous and daily electricity demand met by wind energy achieved new records during the year as well: 110% and 82%, respectively.

For the first year since wind energy capacity was deployed in Portugal, no additional wind power capacity was deployed, although repowering of some wind farms has occurred to maintain the installed capacity.

The total installed wind power capacity at end of 2017 was 5,313 MW, which represents 38.6% of the total renewable operational capacity in the country. A new paradigm is emerging in Portugal, with the first licensing requirements to deploy wind farm projects without feed-in tariff.

Please review Portugal’s chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2017 Annual Report.



Total wind power capacity is 5,313 MW.


Portugal produces 12.3 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 24% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

In April 2013, the government established the national renewable energy targets through the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) 2013-2020. This action plan aims for wind power to reach an installed capacity of 5,300 MW by 2020, of which 27 MW are reserved for offshore wind.The total land-based installed wind capacity is 5,313 MW—exceeding the estimation by 271 MW. In fact, total installed capacity is already above the targets planned for 2020.

The NREAP renewable targets have not been adjusted since 2013. Therefore, the renewable targets previously set to 2020 are active and established as a 10.0% contribution for the transportation sector, 35.9% in the heating and cooling sectors, and 59.6% for electricity. In 2017, Portugal also took an important step toward the NREAP offshore wind targets.

Progress & Operational Details

In 2017, no additional wind power capacity was installed in Portugal. By the end of the year, the cumulative installed capacity was distributed over 257 wind farms, with 2,743 wind turbines operating across the country. The Portuguese wind power fleet generated 12.3 TWh—24% of electricity demand—for a second consecutive year.

The wind share of the total renewable production increased 13.4% from the previous year to 50.8%. This substantial increase is due in part to the third driest year since 1931, leading to a strong decrease in the hydropower production (only 31.1% of the total renewable production during 2017). The average production at full capacity stood at 2,399 hours, indicating a 0.8% decrease since 2016 (2,419 hours).

National RDD Priorities and Budget

National R&D efforts during 2017 focused on offshore wind energy, structural safe inspections, and the development of tools and methodologies to maximize the penetration of renewable energy from a grid security operation point-of-view as well as a market perspective. Most R&D activities are taking place at the main Portuguese institutes and universities being funded through national and/or European programs.

The Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT), invested nearly 512 million EUR (614 million USD) in science and technology in 2017. Approximately 103 million EUR (123.6 million USD) was for R,D&D and innovation projects, while 55 million EUR (66 million USD) went towards scientific jobs. These numbers represent a 2% increase since 2016 for both total investment and investment in R,D&D. However, the investment in scientific jobs increased 16% since 2016.

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