Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone



**Portugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures.

Electricity consumption in the country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday, the analysis says.

News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day – effectively paying consumers to use it.**

The article continues at the link.


I don’t believe the nuclear or fossil fuel sources of energy were disconnected during this time. "power prices turning negative at several times in the day " (yes this was for Germany but it likely think it applies to Portugal too) implies that they produced more than needed at times. At other times they did not produce enough “green” energy to meet demand and thus needed nuclear or fossil fuel sources. Yes it may have averaged out to the amount produced from renewable sources but this does not mean traditional sources of energy were not needed or used.

If Portugal is any thing like my area they paid more money for this energy. I had the “opportunity” from my power company to get a portion of my electricity from renewable sources, all I had to do was pay more per kilowatt hour. I did not sign up for that.


A great benchmark, but PT is sunnier than most of the Western world and also uses much less power (usually the case in European countries) than their USA opposite numbers.

Still, it’s a start.



There are many companies involved and breakthroughs are occurring. The biggest is energy storage. The argument goes that at night or on low wind days, some renewables just don’t make sense. However, the power generated by most utilities is used seconds after it’s generated. None of it is stored. As storage technology improves, that means renewables can work and be be cost competitive.




That’s impressive? What about the other 360 days?


I, who happens to be agnostic on climate change, think geothermal power is the best


Geothermal is awesome if you live in a place that has it.



Good for Portugal, if you got a lot of sunny days in the country then use it. :slight_smile:


Iceland has/uses a lot of geothermal.

The potential problem is that you get a LOT of geothermal from volcanoes.

And Iceland’s volcanoes are erupting.



There have been some related articles in the news recently. The Costa Ricans really have their act together, although I suppose their energy needs are fairly low. Also, the Scots are making great strides.

And too, there’s been the well publicized speculation regarding the possible discovery of an alien civilization powered by an actual
Dyson sphere, which is an idea that was created by one of my favorite science fiction writers, Olaf Stapledon, whose novels are cool, intelligent and compulsively readable.


Renewable energy is neither cheap nor reliable:




See this article about the investment St Meinrad seminary recently made in geothermal energy. This type of geothermal energy is available almost everywhere.


Are socialist nations like Portugal known for using cleaner energy?


The article isn’t very clear as to what underlies St. Meinrad.

Where I live, the below-ground temperatures are somewhere around 56 degrees; the average annual temperature here. And it’s that way far, far underground, so that water from deep wells even two thousand feet deep is very little different in temperature from cave temperatures near the surface.

So, around here, you would be pumping up not-too-comfortable air of about 56 degrees. But it’s true that it would take a lot less energy to heat 56 degree air to, say, 70 degrees than it would take to heat 20 degree outside air to the same temperature.

But heat pumps utilizing ground heat have been around for a long time. Nothing really novel about them. Some people use springs for the same purpose because heat exchanges faster from water than from earth or stone. Since cold air from the surface pumped down into the hole tends to cool the earth surrounding the pipe, it’s not as effective as one might wish unless the piping goes through layers of moving water.

Now, if one was at Hot Springs, Arkansas, it would be different because there are thermal springs there that arise from far deeper in the earth’s crust than anyone would ever dig. What they have there are very deep faults in the earth’s crust. Water from the surface seeps down into those super-deep faults and is pushed back up by a combination of water’s self-leveling and the greater volume of the heated water.

Personally, in the absence of flowing water, volcanic upthrusts or extremely deep faults through which water can percolate down and back up again, I don’t think this is any kind of miracle energy source.


Germany has found the subsidies needed for wind and solar to be intolerable, so they’re increasingly using brown coal, which is plentiful in Germany. As the Germans say “…you can make windmills with steel, but you can’t make steel with windmills…”

American coal is far better quality than brown coal, and cheaper. It’s ironic that Germany’s imports of American coal are increasing. That’s because it’s hard to do without coal for a lot of things, and its use is nearly forbidden here. We’re fortunate in having natural gas that we can use for now. But eventually, we’ll be back to coal…or freezing in the dark without jobs.

Oh, and the average annual temperature in Portugal is about 62 degrees and it’s nowhere near as industrialized as Germany.


Costa Ricans don’t ‘really have their act together’
They are just blessed with a small population and an inordinate amount of hydro resources.
Developing hydro was the cheap and obvious answer,
would’ve happened even without global warming.


This may be called “geothermal energy”, but is actually not a source of energy. Geothermal heat pumps, as Ridgerunner said, have been around for a long time. They are more accurately described as a very efficient way of using electrical energy to do heating and cooling. But make no mistake about it - all the energy in that scenario comes from the grid.


Where I live, if you want geothermal for your house, the cost is about $10 per square foot of house for the equipment.

A lot of people still heat with wood stoves.


I’m all for nuclear energy, myself.


Nuclear is a dead end and dangerous. Spent fuel rods are stored in water filled tanks.





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