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Electricity in Portugal in 2022

Global Ranking: #27
50.0% #63 Low-carbon electricity
623.58 watts #57 Generation / person
263.25 gCO2eq/kWh #53 Carbon Intensity
Up to 67% Electricity imports

In 2022, Portugal's electricity consumption is split primarily amongst two energy sources: low-carbon energy and fossil energy. Low-carbon, which encompasses wind, hydropower, biofuels, solar and geothermal energy, makes up about half of Portugal's power usage at just under 50%. Fossil energy, primarily gas, represents about a third of energy consumption, with coal utilization being insignificant at only 0.11%. The utilization of wind energy, contributing nearly a quarter to the power mix, along with hydropower at 13.5%, biofuels at just over 7%, solar at 5.5% and geothermal at 0.32%, emphasizes Portugal's reliance on low-carbon energy methods. Finally, net imports of electricity in Portugal account for approximately 16.5% of the country's consumption, peaking at a high of 67% during the period.


In order to increase low-carbon electricity generation, Portugal could consider expanding its existing wind energy infrastructure, given its current significant share of the energy mix. Additionally, an examination of different global strategies offers interesting learning points for Portugal. For instance, Denmark sources an impressive 52% of its electricity from wind power. This figure surpasses Portugal's current wind power usage, and with similar geographic and climatic conditions, it implies potential for additional wind power exploitation. Portugal can also learn from countries like France, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Belgium, where a substantial portion of electricity (ranging from 47% to 61%) is generated from nuclear power. Given that nuclear energy is currently not a part of Portugal's energy mix, this presents a viable alternative for increasing low-carbon electricity generation.


The evolution of low-carbon electricity in Portugal displays interesting trends, largely focused on hydropower. In the late seventies, there was a notable increase of hydropower by 5.2 TWh. However, the end of the 20th century saw significant fluctuations. For instance, in 1989 and 1992, there were negative changes of -6.4 and -4.1 TWh respectively, followed by a rebound of 6.4 TWh in 1996. This pattern of up and down dynamics continued into the early 21st century. Despite these fluctuations, positive gains were noted, with an 8.2 TWh increase realized in 2013. The trend of fluctuation continued until the most recent data point in 2022 with a dip of -4.3 TWh. The historical trends suggest a need for Portugal to not just bolster its hydropower capabilities, but also diversify its low-carbon electricity sources to ensure greater stability in power generation.

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1988 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the year 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2022 the data source is Ember.