In a record-setting March, Portugal generated enough renewable energy to more than supply the entire country. With 55% of energy needs produced through hydro power, and 42% in wind energy, Portugal was able to generate 103% of its energy needs for the month (some fossil fuels were used as a balance for supply/demand constraints).
The Portuguese Renewable Energy Association anticipates that this trend will continue, with the bulk of energy needs met through renewable sources and fossil fuels acting as a balance when renewable supplies are low. Portugal hopes to supply the country primarily through renewable energy by the year 2040.
Portugal’s renewable energy resources are the highest in the European union, thanks to heavy investment in renewable technology. However, battles over energy subsidies threaten the program.
How can other countries reduce the costs and improve the efficiency of renewable energy?
Some countries, such as Iceland and Norway are able to generate renewable energy effectively due to geological advantages that offer a ready source of geothermal energy. For other countries, including many OPEC nations, solar energy promises an energy future beyond fossil fuels.
A government or industry looking to invest in renewable energy cannot always rely on geology, however. Automation and monitoring of equipment can improve efficiency even when climate conditions are not ideal.
With stronger telemetry and remote HMI/SCADA options, it’s easier to bridge the gap between ideal conditions and adequate conditions in the weather. As systems connect with one another, renewable energy producers can use broad sources of data like weather reports and wind conditions to automatically adjust equipment and take the most advantage of power generation sources.
InduSoft Web Studio is already playing a key role in renewable energy production globally. As more energy production necessarily becomes emission-conscious, HMI and SCADA applications built around customizable platforms that allow remote connectivity, energy management capabilities, and energy metering will be necessary to make certain that energy production is done efficiently and cleanly.