Portugal requires 5.7 GW of wind power

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Portugal needs to invest EUR 6.4 billion, the equivalent of more than 4% of its gross national product (GNP), to achieve the government's revised target for renewable energy to meet 45% of the country's electricity needs by 2010, up from 39% previously, says Espírito Santo Research (ESR). Wind power will account for 65.5%, or EUR 4.2 billion, of the investment needed. The new target requires the installation of 12.5 GW of renewables capacity, with wind power accounting for 5.7 GW of that, ESR reported at the recent Renewable Energies in Portugal and Spain conference held in Lisbon and organised by the Banco Espirito Santo and the Expresso Daily newspaper. Between 2000 and 2006, Portugal's installed wind capacity increased 67.5%, says ESR, rising to 1681 MW by the end of the period, or 68.7% of the 2448 MW total renewable energy capacity installed. António Sá da Costa of the Portuguese association of renewable energies, APREN, says Portugal's renewables target will be achieved, as long as the country reduces energy consumption, increases green power production and gives priority to renewable micro generation. Portugal invested EUR 850 million in renewable energy during 2006, a figure which should grow to EUR 1 billion this year, he says. Meanwhile, Spain needs to invest EUR 19.2 billion by 2010 to achieve its renewable energy targets, says ESR's Francisco Palma. Around EUR 8.4 billion, or 43.6%, of this will need to be invested in wind projects, he says, to meet the specific wind goal of increasing capacity from 11,606 MW at the end of 2006 to 20,155 MW by the end of 2010. The main wind hotspots will be Andalucia, with ESR suggesting it will see 18.5%, or EUR 792 million, of total wind investment up to the end of 2010, followed by Valencia (14.2%) and Aragon (10.9%).

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