Portugal PM affirms renewables support

PORTUGAL: Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho yesterday defended his government's pro-renewables stance, echoing his environment minister, Jorge Moreira da Silva, who last month called on the European Union to set a 40% renewables target for 2030.

Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho
Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho

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"Support shouldn’t be at excessive levels, but that doesn’t mean not backing renewables," Passos Coelho said. He urged the EU to adopt more ambitious renewables targets and said the green economy should not be seen as a burden.

Passos Coelho's comments come as the Spanish government said it plans to end all price subsidies for wind capacity online before end-2004.

According to Windpower Monthly's Windicator, Portugal's wind power capacity stood at 4.587GW at the end of November, 2013. However, only 191MW was added in 2013.

Last week the European Commission ordered the Portuguese government to "eliminate its energy tariff deficit and ensure the sustainability of the national electricity system," in return for continued financial assistance.

In 2013, voluntary agreement was made between the government and operators of Portugal's older wind farms, reducing their income by EUR 140 million up to 2020 in return for regulatory stability.

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