• The Secretary of State for Energy, João Galamba of Portugal has said the country is likely to auction solar energy projects in Q2/2019, reported local newspaper Publico
  • The government has submitted a draft for the plan to be approved by the country’s Parliament
  • It wants to move away from licensing unsubsidized renewable energy projects, to an auction system to be able to sift speculators from serious players

The Portuguese government wants to launch a solar energy auction in the second quarter of 2019, said Secretary of State for Energy João Galamba while speaking to local newspaper Publico. This will create an environment of greater stability for investors and create filters to distinguish between those who really want to invest and speculators, he said.

Under the current system of state licensing renewable energy projects without subsidies, 1,500 MW was approved of which solar projects alone accounted for 1,150 MW, but only 49 MW has been built, Publico reported. The government now wants to screen the non-serious players or the ‘speculators’, bring the licensed capacity online and allow new players to come in to help the country meet its renewable energy targets. The government is now awaiting the Parliament’s nod for its draft on introducing auction system.

The news outlet said the exact design for new auctions is still to be identified, but the government wants to see tariff prices being lower than €45 ($51) per MWh. Only then end customers could be spared additional cost, according to the country’s Energy Services Regulatory Entity (ERSE).

In March 2018, the Portuguese government said it was opting for a lottery system to select energy projects for mature technologies like solar (see Portugal Issues New Rules For Unsubsidized PV).