Quantcast

Portugal Sets Record, Runs on Renewables for 107-Hours Straight

Energy

Portugal just took a huge step forward in the renewable energy arena. The country ran on solar, wind and hydropower energy for 107-hours straight from 6:45 a.m. May 7 to 5:45 p.m. May 11, The Guardian reported.

A large photovoltaic power project, the Serpa solar power plant, in Portugal, one of Europe's sunniest areas. Photo credit: Wikipedia

This was a landmark event for Europe and renewable energy. In that four-day period, the European country didn't have to turn to coal or fossil fuels for its electricity needs.

Francisco Ferreira, president of Portuguese sustainability NGO Zero, told The Independent:

Portugal has been investing considerably in renewables, particularly in electricity, since this will be the main final energy within the next decades with the transition from fossil fuels in road transportation to electric vehicles. Since key decisions in the beginning of the century to greatly expand on-shore wind, with the renew of the equipment in certain dams and the improvement of their storage capacity to handle wind production variability, the electricity system can now achieve 100% of renewable electricity being produced and even export.
However, this was the first time that it happened for such a long period, due to particular meteorological conditions and the great management performance of the electricity network.

Portugal has been moving away from fossil fuels in recent years. In 2013, 70 percent of the country's energy came from renewable resources and 24.6 percent of that was from wind power. Only Denmark produced more energy from wind power than Portugal.

“This is a significant achievement for a European country, but what seems extraordinary today will be commonplace in Europe in just a few years," James Watson, the CEO of SolarPower Europe, told The Guardian. "The energy transition process is gathering momentum and records such as this will continue to be set and broken across Europe."

The push toward renewable energy sources is an European Union-wide effort. The union set a goal to produce 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Other countries have made recent strides—although not as substantial. On May 15, Germany produced 45.5 gigawatts of its 45.8 gigawatt demand, Bloomberg reported. The UK also had several instances of zero-reliance on coal energy last week, The Guardian reported. For more than half of the day, on May 12, there was no electricity from coal.

“We are seeing trends like this spread across Europe—last year with Denmark and now in Portugal," Oliver Joy, a spokesman for the Wind Europe, told The Guardian. "The Iberian peninsula is a great resource for renewables and wind energy, not just for the region but for the whole of Europe."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

100% Renewable Energy Is Possible, Here's How

2015 Was Record-Breaking Year for Investment in Renewable Energy

Is Biomass Energy Renewable?

New Undersea Turbines Harness Enormous Power From Local Tides

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

America's national bird is threatened by hunters. Not that hunters are taking aim at the iconic bald eagle, but bald eagles are dying after eating lead bullets, as CNN reported.

Read More
Bill Bader, owner of Bader Farms, and his wife Denise pose in front of the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. United States Courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Jan. 27, 2020. Johnathan Hettinger / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

A jury in Missouri awarded a farmer $265 million in a lawsuit that claimed Bayer and BASF's weedkiller destroyed his peach orchard, as Reuters reported.

Read More
Sponsored
Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

Read More
Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Bob Wick / BLM / onEarth

By Jeff Turrentine

Well, he told us he would do it. And now he's actually doing it — or at least trying to. Late last week, President Trump, via the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, announced that he was formalizing his plan to develop lands that once belonged within the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in southern Utah. The former is a stunningly beautiful, ecologically fragile landscape that has played a crucial role in Native American culture in the Southwest for thousands of years; the latter, just as beautiful, is one of the richest and most important paleontological sites in North America.

Read More
Smoke pours from the exhaust pipes on a truck on Nov. 5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. According to a 2017 EPA study the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is from the transportation sector. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Julie McNamara

First, a fact: People want clean air. And who can blame them — in the United States more than 100,000 people still die from air pollution each year.

Read More