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

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less