Renewable energy sources Portugal

Types of renewable energy are different in techniek for generating sustainable power. We distinguish between green and grey energy. Produce green in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Generate grey power is with fossil fuels. And is therefore not sustainable and ecologically friendly. The term " Green energy " is also sustainable or renewable energy because it never actually runs out.

Renewable energy sources Portugal

If you think about renewable sources, solar power will probably be the first to come to mind. It also depends on where you live in the world. If you live in the United States, hydropower is probably the first in your mind. The US is one of the largest producers of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada and Brazil. If you live in Portugal, you think about solar power. But in fact, the wind power is the biggest supplier sustainable electricity.

Renewable sources of energy in Portugal according wikipedia:

The renewable energy produced in Portugal fell from 55.5% of the total produced in 2016 to 41.8% in 2017, due to the drought of 2017, which severely affected the production of hydro electricity.[8]

The sources of the renewable energy that was produced in Portugal in 2017 were:

  1. Wind power with 21.6% (up from 20.7% in 2016)
  2. Hydro power with 13.3% (down from 28.1% in 2016)
  3. Bioenergy with 5.1% (same as in 2016)
  4. Solar power with 1.6% (up from 1.4% in 2016)
  5. Geothermal energy with 0.4% (up from 0.3% in 2016). S
  6. Wave power in the Azores. 24% of the energy produced in the Azores is geothermal

Wind energy is generated by wind. There is always wind, so the wind is a sustainable source. There is no release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) by the production. However, to plan wind energy is very difficult.. After all, sometimes there is a strong wind, and sometimes there is hardly any wind. At wind force two you can generate energy. So it is almost always possible to create green clean electricity.

Renewable energy sources Portugal

Wind develops due to differences in air pressure. It is air that flows from one place to another. Wind is easy to convert in motion by a windmill. The rotation of the mill blades sets an axis in motion. This shaft rotates a turbine. The power generators converts this rotational movement into electricity. This process is like a dynamo on a bicycle, which also converts movement into electricity via magnets and coils. Then you pass the voltage in to the electricity grid. Here is a nice article about a wind farm in Portugal coordinated by EDP.

Windmills also have some adverse consequences for nature. Producing a windmill is producing CO2, but that is quickly 'earning back' by creating clean energy. Wind energy is one of the most sustainable types. But there are also disadvantages of windmills:

  • Pollution - landscape pollution.
  • Noise pollution - the noise level.
  • Birds - around 20,000 birds annually die from windmills.

A social advantage is that making these wind turbines is that it generates employment. An example is the company Silentwind for small mills and Portugal-based ASM Industries for the bigger ones. If you like to read more about wind power in Portugal, I suggest this site.

Renewable energy sources Portugal

As the second renewable energy producer in Portugal is the Hydroelectricity. Most dams are in the north of the country. Its generated by height difference (falling water) or by the flow rate of the water (running water).

More than 10% of all European produced electricity is by hydropower. More than half of all renewable energy in the world comes from hydropower. The largest hydroelectric power station in Portugal is at the Alto Lindoso dam, with a capacity of 630 MW.

Hydropower is a clean and inexpensive source. The moving water that flows through the hydropower power plants will evaporate at the lowest point by the sun. Because of this, it ends up in higher parts, in the form of rain. It creates a cycle.

Hydropower is less dependent on the weather in this way, while wind and solar energy are. A disadvantage is that they have a significant impact on the environment.

Renewable energy sources Portugal

The biomass energy is on place three as production in the sustainable market. The power that is from the animal vegetable waste products comes from the sun, which ensures that plants grow. Animals that eat organic material produce manure. To get the energy from biomass, you have to burn it in a power plant.

The biomass is first printed in so-called pallets, which then ground into fine dust. The fine powder will burn. the heat, heats up a large boiler with water. The water that is producing steam drives a turbine. The turbine is connected to a large dynamo, and transfers the electra to the electricity grid.

Renewable energy sources Portugal


As we all know, solar panels are one of the sources with the highest energy efficiency as explained here, Why is solar energy the best renewable energy?.


The Government of Portugal has announced funding of EUR 2.4 million at supporting geothermal heating networks. As well exploring and understanding the country's geothermal resources. Acording this article!

Heat from the soil and the soil water is a sustainable form of energy. Depending on the depth, it is called geothermal heat or soil heat. Geothermal heat is hard to reach in Portugal and is therefore very expensive.

Geothermal energy and soil heat are environmentally friendly alternatives for heating gas and coal. Because the use of earth and soil heat hardly causes pollution, CO2 emissions and climate change. Another environmental advantage is that geothermal heat and soil heat never run out, unlike fossil fuels.

At very great depth (from 500 meters) there is useful geothermal heat. Iceland uses this for heating. Geothermal heat is in the core of the earth. Soil heat comes from the sun. The temperature in the centre is not precisely known. The estimating range is between 2,000 and 12,000 degrees Celsius.

The core heat spreads through the different layers of the earth to the earth's crust. From the outside inwards, it is getting warmer. Every kilometre we dig, the temperature rises by 30 degrees Celsius. From a depth of 500 meters, there is enough heat difference to transport the heat to the surface.

Renewable energy sources Portugal

The drainage of soil heat up to 200 meters deep in the earth is done with so-called soil heat exchangers. Such a soil heat exchanger consists of a closed pipe system that goes up to 200 meters deep into the soil. A liquid is pumped through the tubes, mostly water with antifreeze. The fluid flows through the warmer ground, heats up and flows through the pipes. On the surface are large heat pump systems that take over the heat from the liquid in the soil heat exchangers.

The heat that originates from a depth of 500 meters or more profound originated in the core of the earth (geothermal heat). However, a soil heat exchanger does not come deep enough to collect this heat. The cooled water is pumped back again. Automatically warms up again by the heat from the earth core.

The soil is more suitable for the use of geothermal energy abroad. Around sixty countries use it. One is Iceland: on this volcanic island the geothermal heat is closer to the earth's surface, and that makes the extraction of geothermal energy cheaper. Eighty percent of all heat demand in Iceland comes from geothermal heat.

Portugal is on his way in the sustainable power industie:

Portugal’s renewable electricity production exceeded monthly consumption for what is likely the first time, in March, according to the nation’s transmission system operator, REN. The average renewable electricity generation for the month exceeded 103% of consumption, beating out the last record (99.2%), set in 2014.