Step forward for wave energy in Portugal
Sep 26, 2008 - RenewableEnergyFocus.com
350,000 homes in Portugal could be powered by electricity
harnessed from the power of the Atlantic Ocean’s waves,
following the launch of a commercial wave power farm
in Póvoa do Varzim, South of Porto.
The wave power farm harnesses energy produced by
ocean waves which is brought ashore by a submarine
cable and fed directly into the national distribution
grid controlled by Energias de Portugal (EdP). Initially
it will provide 2.25MW of electricity, enough for
around 1,500 homes.
With over 800 kilometres of coastline, Portugal
is well placed to benefit from wave power as part
of EU’s target to achieve 20 per cent of its energy
consumption by green, renewable sources by 2020.
In fact, Portugal, a pioneer in renewable energy,
achieved the EU’s 2020 target three years ago, and
is already on track to achieve 45 per cent of all
its power from renewable sources by 2010. Some energy
experts predict that Portugal will be able to source
20 per cent of its energy needs from the sea.
In terms of other renewable energy sources, being
one of the sunniest countries in Europe, Portugal
has invested heavily in capturing solar energy. Three
of the world’s biggest solar power plants are being
built in Portugal including the world’s largest in
Moura, southern Portugal. This solar plant comprises
of 350,000 solar panels spread over an area the size
of 150 football pitches. In addition Europe’s largest
wind farm with 120 wind turbines is currently being
constructed in the Minho Valley, northern Portugal.
When complete it will supply enough energy for 750,000
homes – equivalent to around 12 per cent of Portugal’s
But as suitable locations for dams and onshore wind
farms become harder to find, interest in the wave
power potential of Portugal’s 832 kilometres of coastline
is expected to increase.
Manuel Pinho, Portugal’s Minister for The Economy
and Innovation, said: "This wave farm will provide
electricity to 1,500 homes by the end of the year
and once fully operational could provide electricity
to 350,000 homes. We are on track for 45 per cent
of consumption from renewable energy sources by 2010
but actually a 2020 target of between 55 and 60 percent
is perfectly feasible."