In March 2018, Portugal showed the rest of the world the capabilities of renewable energy. Portugal produced 4,800 Gwh of renewable energy, enough to meet their energy consumption, plus excess that could then be stored.
The largest percentage of this renewable energy came from hydroelectric at 55% of total consumption. Wind was the second largest renewable energy source at 42%. As noted, March is an optimal time for renewable energy sources, including wind and hydroelectric.
There has been debate over whether Portugal can ever achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Renewables cannot always meet Portugal’s energy demand, for example when conditions are less than optimal or when there’s an increase in demand. If renewables are not available in such cases, Portugal must rely on fossil fuels, including coal and natural gas. However, these facts do not discount the overarching efforts and success Portugal’s renewable sector has shown. Portugal plans to continue to reach new heights in renewables; by 2040 they hope that 100% of their electricity demands will be met using renewables.
Regardless of the debate over whether renewables can supply 100 percent of Portugal’s energy demand or that of other countries, we must see that a shift to renewables is a positive change and a step in the right direction. Do you think renewable energy can meet large-scale energy demands? Portugal has shown that it is possible to meet large-scale energy demands primarily using renewable energy.