Portugal slices 23% off 2020 wind target

PORTUGAL: Portugal’s 2020 wind power target has been slashed, along with targets for other renewable technologies, in a proposed revision to the 2010 renewable energies action plan.

The proposals, published last week by the economy ministry, project only 949 MW of additional wind power capacity by 2020 for a total of 5300 MW.

This is a 23% drop on the country’s existing target of 6950MW target.

Predicting that the economic crisis will reduce GDP by 8% in 2020, the government said Portugal will neither need, nor be able to afford, as much renewables capacity as previously estimated.

Apart from 1.6GW of licensed capacity in the pipeline, all new renewables projects would be suspended until 2014/2015. Thereafter new licenses would be issued only if achieving the reduced 2020 targets were in doubt.

The proposal document was removed from the ministry website "for technical reasons" shortly after publication and has not reappeared.

Protecting Portugal's wind industry

Speculation has been rife that Portugal has been planning to reduce its targets. In February, the European Renewable Energies Federation has called for EC intervention over Portugal's alleged plan to reduce its wind-power targets through tariff cuts.

In February, Portuguese renewable-energy association spokesman Antonio Sa da Costa said: "The secretary of state for energy told me that tariffs under €80/MWh would not be affected by retroactive cuts in tariff." This represents between 20-25% of Portugal's total 4.5GW installed capacity.

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