Portugal Doubles 2030 Goals for Solar and Hydrogen Capacity
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Portugal has more than doubled its 2030 goals for installed capacity of solar energy and electrolysers to produce green hydrogen, as it aims to decommission natural gas-fired power plants by 2040 and possibly become carbon neutral by 2045.
The new targets are part of an updated draft of the energy and climate goals that Portugal sent to Brussels on Friday – the deadline for all European countries to submit revamped plans on how they expect to help further EU renewable energy objectives. A public hearing will follow and the final plan is due by June next year.
Portugal now aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 from 2005 levels, while its previous plan envisaged a 45%-55% cut. It is also studying the possibility of becoming carbon neutral five years earlier than its original commitment.
The government forecasts that the overall installed renewable energy capacity will rise to 42.8 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from a target of 27.4 GW in the previous plan, and 2.5 times more than the capacity in operation last year.
That will require an estimated 75 billion euros ($81.80 billion) of investment in green energy projects, mostly private.
The EU is at risk of failing to meet its 2030 climate change targets, owing to uncertainty over whether sufficient funds are being invested in the low-carbon transition, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) had said in a report last month.
See related article: EIB Commits €450 Million Green Loan to Portugal’s REN for Renewable Energy Upgrades
Portugal aims to generate 85% of its annual electricity usage from renewable sources by 2030, up from around 60% in 2022, which was already one of the highest ratios in Europe.
Solar capacity is expected to reach 21 GW in 2030, up from 9.3 GW in the previous plan and eight times above last year’s level.
New electrolyser capacity to produce green hydrogen should hit 5.5 GW by 2030, up from 2.5 GW forecast previously.
The government raised the onshore wind target to 10.4 GW from 9 GW forecast earlier, while setting the capacity on offer in the first offshore wind auction later this year at 2 GW.
The boost in renewables will allow to slash the capacity of natural gas-fired power plants to 3.8 GW in 2030 from 5 GW now, “moving towards their banning from 2040, provided security of supply is ensured”, it said.