- Portugal was running only on renewable energy for 4 days at a stretch, according to clean energy NGO called Zero
- No thermal power was required to supply Portuagal with electricity for 107 hours
- Solar makes up only a tiny fraction of the country’s total energy production as of now, but wind and hydropower are well established
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Europe’s south-western country Portugal made history when the country used renewable power non-stop for four days straight. According to the data from National Energy Network (REN), which was analysed by clean energy NGO Zero System Association Sustainable Land, the country was completely powered by renewable energy for 107 hours in a row.
From 6.45 am on May 7 to 5.45 pm on May 11, 2016, Portugal did not switch to thermal power plants. Speaking to The Guardian, SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson, said, “This is a significant achievement for a European country, but what seems extraordinary today will be commonplace in Europe in just a few years. The energy transition process is gathering momentum and records such as this will continue to be set and broken across Europe.”
According to the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN), from January 2016 to April 2016, solar energy production was 1% of the total energy produced in the country, while wind made up 25.6% and hydropower was 44.1% of the total. In 2015, solar power produced was only 1.5% out of the total 30.7% share of renewables.
The country makes it very difficult for investors in solar, e.g. small PV generators are not allowed to have switch-off option even if they own a battery, which means a solar system doesn’t help in case of a blackout.