Portugal is averaging 91% renewable electricity in 2024, with Europe’s lowest power prices

An aerial view of Porto, Portugal. The country has made a rapid transition to renewable energy.
Porto, Portugal. Photo: Dreamstime

In the first four months of 2024, renewables met 91% of Portugal’s electricity needs, pushing spot power prices to a four-year low.

According to network operator REN, renewable energy generation covered 95% of the nation’s electricity demand in April. That follows a 91% share in March, 88% in February, and 81% in January.

Hydroelectric plants comprised 48% of the electricity mix in the first four months of the year, followed by wind at 30%, solar at 7%, and biomass at 6%. Gas output equated to 9% of demand — with gas consumption in the power sector halving from the same period in 2023. Electricity imports and exports with other countries were roughly identical.

“The solar component continues to grow substantially,” REN said in a statement, noting that solar’s share hit a record high of 10.5% of consumption in April.

Meanwhile, data collated by energy research group Ember shows that Portugal has consistently had the lowest wholesale electricity prices in Europe in recent months. In April, prices averaged just €13.32/MWh — the lowest in at least six years. Ireland had the region’s highest prices (€88.53/MWh).

Wholesale prices refer to the prices paid to electricity generators — such as wind farms, hydroelectric plants and gas-turbine operators — and don’t include other costs, such as network charges.

Portugal’s electricity mix has changed fast, with the share of renewables up from 27% in 2005 and 54% in 2017. The nation’s last coal-fired power plant was shut in 2021. Here’s how it got to this point.


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One Response

  1. Nice article about Portugal’s electricity. Very encouraging, SA could be the same, when it would have implemented massive changeover to renewables the moment they started to get cheaper than coal around 2013. We could have declining electricity tariffs over the last five years, and a surplus of power.

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