We met computer scientist Ramez Naam at the Singularity University summit 2017 in Milan. His words on the potential of renewables and technological innovation are encouraging.
Portugal ran entirely on renewable energy for four consecutive days
107 ore di energia da fonti rinnovabili. Un record in tutta Europa. Il Portogallo in prima linea già dagli anni ’90.
Portugal has set a history-making record for renewables in Europe. Between Sunday and Wednesday, all electricity consumed nationally was produced from renewable sources. Portugal drew on solely renewable energy for 107 hours straight, avoiding using gas and coal.
Portuguese organisation Zero, established in 2015 with the aim of achieving the country’s sustainable development, released the news first. “The National Energy Statistics Network collects data daily,” said Francisco Ferreira, President of the NGO. “Figures show that the production from hydroelectric and wind power, along with biomass, were enough to meet domestic needs”.
— ZERO (@ZEROasts) May 15, 2016
The news was later confirmed by Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN). Moreover, surplus energy was exported to Spain and France. This means that Portugal produced so much energy to be able to give it to neighbouring countries, while meeting domestic needs with renewable energy alone.
Portugal has been investing in renewables since the 1990s
The Iberian country started investing in renewables – especially in wind farms – in the ’90s. Wind energy reached its peak in 2014, when Portuguese installed power accounted for 4.953 MW (data via Ieawind), i.e. 25 per cent of renewables. Therefore, 42 per cent of the country’s total installed capacity comes from renewables. In 2014, Portuguese wind farms alone produced 12.1 T Wh, i.e. 24 per cent of the national electricity consumption. Along with wind power, the main energy sources are hydroelectric power, biomasses, and waste-to-energy.
“This successful result shows that Portugal could be way more ambitious in carrying out the energy transition,” the NGO wrote. “100 per cent renewable energy leads to a significant decrease in greenhouse gases that cause global warming and, by result, climate change”.
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È successo domenica scorsa quando, per qualche ora, i 55 GW di energia elettrica sui 58 consumati provenivano da fonti rinnovabili: solare, eolico ed idroelettrico.
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