In notable solar news, Portugal has authorized the processing of licenses for solar projects which total more than 2,000 megawatts (2 gigawatts) of potential power.
Specifically, 180 MW of solar projects have presently been authorized under the existing market system in the nation’s southern region, and an additional 68 licenses for solar projects are being processed, which total more than 2 GW of potential.
The news comes on the heels of Portugal and Morocco signing two cooperation agreements focusing on the development of renewable energy in the African country.
Currently, Portugal’s single electrical interconnection is with Spain. But now, the Portuguese government plans on conducting a viability study concerning an electrical interconnection with Morocco.
In January of this year, the European Investment Bank (EIB) made public it had analyzed grant funding for various PV projects in Portugal, including one project by Expoentfokus featuring four PV installations with a combined capacity of 165 MW. The cost of the project was estimated at €130 million and EIB states on its website that it is in the phase of analyzing grant funding for roughly €65 million.
In a report from three international development and financial institutions, the EIB states the private sector can be an important driver for growth and rising prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The report indicates innovation and growth have been constrained by barriers to trade and a scarcity of appropriately trained workers.
Ideally, agreements such as the recent one with Morocco may lead to removing the “disconnect between firms and formal financing channels.”
The EIB is also said to be considering financing for two PV plants which total 100 MW of capacity located in the region of Alentejo, which it made public last April. The cost of this project is estimated at a total of €100 million and EIB is considering providing €50 million in financing, according to pv-magazine.
Portugal’s Commitment to Renewable Electricity
During May of this year, the Guardian reported that Portugal supplied its electricity with just renewable energy for four consecutive days — a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures that very few countries can claim.
Electricity consumption in the country was fully covered by solar, wind, and hydro power in a 107-hour run lasting from 6.45 am on Saturday, May 7, until 5.45 pm the following Wednesday.
Old buildings in Porto, Portugal via Shutterstock