Renewable energy

The "Renewable energy" fact sheet examines the production of energy from renewable sources, its contribution to primary energy consumption and in gross final energy consumption, as well as the contribution of each of the renewable energy sources.

Currently, domestic primary energy production in Portugal is almost all based on Renewable Energy Sources (RES).

Renewable energy sources come from natural resources (water, wind, biomass, sun, and earth’s heat), that naturally and regularly renovate themselves, in a sustainable way, even after being used to generate electricity or heat.

These natural resources allow for the production of hydroelectric, wind, biomass, solar, oceanic and geothermal energy.

The production of energy from renewable sources reduces the need to import fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to that purpose, making the country less dependent on foreign energy (energy dependency reduction) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
  • The European Union (EU) defined, through Directive 2009/28/EC, reformulated by EU Directive 2018/2001, on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RES), the objective of achieving, in Portugal and up to 2020, a 31.0% share of energy from renewable sources in the gross final energy consumption and a 10.0% share in the transport sector;
  • In Portugal, Decree-Law No. 141/2010, amended by Decree-Law No. 39/2013, partially transposed the RES Directive establishing national targets for the use of energy from renewable sources in the gross final consumption of energy and energy consumption in transport in 2020, corresponding to 31% and 10%, respectively, which were also assumed in the National Action Plan for Renewable Energies for the period 2013-2020 (PNAER 2020). Indicative interim targets (indicative path) were also set for the use of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption: 22.6% for the years 2011-2012; 23.7% for 2013-2014; 25.2% in 2015-2016; and 27.3% for 2017-2018. The PNAER also foresees, as an indicative target, the incorporation of 59.6% of renewable energy in electricity by 2020;
  • In 2016, the European Commission presented the Legislative Package “Clean Energy for all Europeans” with the objective of promoting the energy transition in the 2021-2030 decade, and approved, in the EU Regulation 2018/1999, targets that aim to reach, in 2030, 32% share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption, 32.5% reduction in energy consumption, 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, and 15% from electrical interconnections;
  • As a result, Portugal prepared the National Energy and Climate Plan for the 2030 horizon (PNEC 2030), the main national instrument of energy and climate policy for the 2021-2030 decade. The PNEC 2030 establishes the following national targets for 2030: to reduce between 45% and 55% the emissions of greenhouse gases, by reference to the emissions registered in the year 2005; to incorporate 47% of energy from renewable sources in the gross final energy consumption; to achieve a 35% reduction in primary energy consumption with a view to better energy efficiency; to reach 15% of electricity interconnections.
Progress analysis:

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the restrictions imposed by it, the year 2020 was atypical in terms of energy consumption (primary and final), with a significant reduction, in particular of the final energy consumption, due essentially to the reduction of travelling/mobility, with the transport sector being the one with the greatest impact on the reduction of final energy consumption (road and air transport).

In 2019, the production of renewable energy stood at 6 487 ktoe (kilo tonnes of oil equivalent), of which around 46.6% came from biomass. Heat pumps contributed 10.5% and biofuels 5.4%.

Last update: 
Monday, 8 November, 2021