Portugal went fully green for four straight days

24 May 2016

Portugal recently ran on 100pc renewable energy for four days: with wind, solar and hydropower servicing the country’s energy needs.

On Saturday (7 May), a 107-hour stretch that saw Portugal’s entire energy requirements being satisfied by renewables began.

Solar, wind and hydroelectricity completely replaced the need for coal, oil or gas use, resulting in “huge reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases”, according to a statement on Zero.

It also means “Portugal can be more ambitious” in its bid to cut down on fossil fuel use, with renewables representing 48pc of the country’s energy use last year.

It’s been quite a month for renewable energy news, with Germany showing 95pc of its needs were met by such resources for a brief spell on 8 May.

The perfect recipe of sun and strong winds helped Germany to that landmark, with solar (45.2pc), wind (36pc), biomass (8.9pc) and hydro (4.8pc) contributing.

“Power prices actually went negative for several hours,” Quartz reported, “meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity.” Bizarre.

Scotland has announced that it broke the 50pc mark for renewable energy use throughout the whole of 2015, while India’s shift towards solar now makes economic sense to consumers – the tipping point, surely. 42pc of Denmark’s electricity last year came from wind alone.

For its part, Ireland is struggling to meet its commitments. A recent SEAI report showed that Ireland isn’t making too much progress on its goal of providing 16pc of its entire energy requirements through renewable resources by the end of the decade.

The 2013 contribution of 7.8pc was only marginally increased to 8.6pc by last year.

Renewable energy image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic