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Portugal has a great potential in solar energy

Portugal has a great potential in solar energy


Portugal almost reached the limit of wind power capacity but still has great potential in solar and biomass energy, says the president of the National Energy and Geology Laboratory.

Teresa Ponce de Leon says that half of the Portugal’s installed capacity comes from renewable energy, divided equally between wind and water, says the president of LNEG. "We've had days when the entire consumption in the country was supplied from renewable energy," she says, adding that Portugal has made a great effort "so that the interconnections (electrical) of the European network are viable." “In order to take advantage of all this resource we have in renewable energy and be able to export to the rest of the countries."

Last week, Portugal, Spain and France signed a statement in Madrid, according to which they undertake to work in order to take the Iberian Peninsula from electrical interconnections isolation.

Teresa Ponce de Leon underlines that these interconnections will be an asset since Europe is dependent on fossil fuels that come from other countries.

"I am talking about Southern resources, particularly the Iberian Peninsula’s, which for now is an island because we have no links to export, but I’m also talking about the northern sea resources and its wind potential" said the official, who welcomes to see France now more sensitized to renewable energy at the expense of nuclear.

Not to say that renewables are endless. Questioned by Lusa the president of LNEG says that in the case of wind energy has not yet reached the limit but that power is now all distributed by investors.

In the wind case, LNEG identified "economically viable locations, geomorphological constraints, natural (natural parks for example), local access and, from there, we identified the sustainable potential, which would walk around five thousand megawatts", said the official, emphasizing that the technology evolution will allow us to take more advantage from the wind farms.

Where there is a "huge potential" is in the solar and biomass energy, says the president of LNEG, the entity responsible for research in the field of energy and geology, both to public policy or to support companies. "We investigate to transfer knowledge to society", says Teresa Ponce de Leon, who rely on almost 300 people, among which 110 are researchers.

It’s LNEG that identifies potential in the renewable investment zones (Amareleja - solar power station, for example), which maps the most favorable areas to harness the energy of waves, which is developing in partnership a study for possible use of "deep geothermal energy" in Madeira, or a project for the construction of a bio-refinery in the central zone.

Teresa Ponce de Leon gives other examples. LNEG investigates new solar panels technologies from new materials, cheaper and more profitable, and therefore "create opportunities for the domestic industry."

Teresa ensures that today's solar panels are much more affordable, and believes that when public buildings surrendered to solar energy, private corporations will too. "Wind power also started with one or two parks", she recalls.

Ponce de Leon ensures that in a few years there will be visible profits. Also gives the example of LNEG solar building in Lumiar, an office building with nearly a decade without extraordinary construction costs and dependent on less than 20% of the energy network.

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