For the first quarter of this year, 70% of total energy consumption in Portugal has been supplied by renewable energy sources. The electricity network operator says this is also affected by the fact that Portuguese citizens are using less power. Hydroelectric power supplied the most at 37% of total electricity, wind power came in second with 27% of total consumption. Solar energy comprised only .7% of energy consumption. From last year's figures, Portugal has used 29% less coal and 44% less gas, though this is largely due to the fact that it must import any fossil fuels it uses. This feat was helped in no small amount by their electricity grid upgrade in 2000. The government bought the privately owned transmission lines and created a smart grid that allows renewable energy producers to connect as well.
It was very refreshing to see that a country which is not normally in the spotlight for green energy making such strides towards renewable energies. I was, however, very surprised that solar energy is used so little. Solar energy seems to me to be the most promising, especially in Portugal in where sunlight is not a scarcity. Many of those who have mobilized in counter action against renewable energies claim that it is impossible to rely solely on renewable energies because they are not reliable enough, but stories like these prove that it is not only possible, but can be easily achieved as well.
5:00 pm 4/19/13