Portugal

Portugal

Portugal lifts restrictions on expanding projects

Project operators in Portugal will be able to add turbines to up to 20% of the grid connection capacity at existing wind farms without regulatory permission under new government legislation.

Operators will be able to add turbines to up to 20% of the grid connection capacity at existing wind farms under the new legislation (pic: Enel)
Operators will be able to add turbines to up to 20% of the grid connection capacity at existing wind farms under the new legislation (pic: Enel)

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The measure seeks to boost wind capacity while protecting electricity consumers by setting a fixed 15-year tariff of €45/MWh for the additional electricity generated.

Operators have been experiencing long delays in obtaining permits for the installation of this additional capacity but, last November, environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes promised legislation to remove red tape.

A spokesman for Portugal’s largest renewables generator EDPR told Windpower Monthly it was a positive move by the government.

However, according to the Portuguese renewables lobby group APREN, the measure is only likely to be taken up by operators who have already submitted applications to the energy regulator ERSE for permission to add additional turbines.

"The €45/MWh tariff is not likely to be very attractive to operators and we predict that the additional capacity installed as a result of the removal of the permitting requirement will be around 200MW," a spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly.

"The government has also confirmed that there will be no auctions of new wind power capacity this year, only solar," she added.

At the presentation of Portugal’s national energy and climate plan in January ministers promised measures to ensure the achievement of the plan’s ambitious target of raising renewables contribution to primary energy consumption from 31% in 2020 to 47% in 2030.

For wind, the plan envisages an increase from the current 5.37 GW to between 8.8GW and 9.2 GW. Nearly all the additional capacity will likely be installed at new or expanded onshore sites.

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