Portugal doubles solar PV target to 20.4 GW by 2030

Portugal doubles solar PV target to 20.4 GW by 2030

Portugal has updated its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) and set a target of installing 20.4 GW of PV by 2030.

The new target is more than double the previous national plan, which expected 9 GW of PV to be installed by 2030. This figure is almost in line with what the country aims to achieve in two years - 8.4 GW of solar capacity by 2025. The Portuguese government sees solar capacity as "fundamental to the fulfillment of the objectives" to decarbonize electricity production in the coming decades.

Three-quarters of the targeted 20.4 GW of PV capacity will come from utility projects (14.9 GW), while the remaining 5.5 GW is expected to come from on-site or near-site solar installations ( decentralized solar installations in the project).

With the increase in the target for photovoltaic projects, the 20.4 GW mark is slightly above the expected number that Pedro Amaral Jorge, CEO of the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN), gave in March at the Large Scale Solar Europe exhibition during a panel , dedicated to the main challenges facing Portugal, which include permitting and network challenges that could put an end to the revised number.

Portugal's short-term strategy to increase installed capacity from renewable energy sources will be through auctions for photovoltaic and offshore wind installations - with the first auction dedicated to solar energy only taking place in 2019 and at some of the lowest prices, registered at that time. Last year, the tariffs of previous solar bidders who won the tenders were increased in line with inflation, a move by the government to ensure the economic viability of the projects.

The second tool to accelerate PV growth in the coming years will be to allow project developers to work with the grid operator to boost the grid when there is insufficient capacity, which will primarily affect larger projects.

Another technology that will have an important and "really significant" role in the decarbonization of Portugal is green hydrogen, with the city of Sines becoming one of the main European centers in the coming years in terms of green hydrogen production. The more than 20GW of solar capacity projected for 2030 includes the capacity installed to produce green hydrogen.

The updated draft of the NAPDEVI was sent to the European Commission last week, when the deadline for EU members was set for Friday 30 June 2023, and when most countries, such as France and Germany, have not yet submitted their own revised targets for renewable energy by 2030. Spain - with an updated target of more than 76 GW of PV capacity by 2030 -, Italy and the Netherlands are among the countries that have already submitted an updated NEPC.

Overall, the contribution of renewables to Portugal's electricity production is expected to reach 80% in 2026, and by the end of the decade the number will rise to 90%, of which 39 percentage points are projected to come from solar energy . Wind and solar power will be the two fastest-growing technologies over the next decade, the report said.


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