Solar power or Self Generation of solar power in Portugal means different things to different people.
Some people want to save money by self generation and selling back to the EDP (grid). Others may want to power a self build Eco-lodge out in the wilds.
Others just think that doing something good for the environment is the way to go and green energy fits the bill for this goal.
For anyone starting to take an interest in solar energy and in particular self generation of solar power in Portugal there is a lot of learning to take on board.
Particularly because the majority of easy to access information on the internet is written by enthusiasts and by the nature of this group it contains inaccurate, confusing, contradictory and very technical information.
Here is some general information regarding solar generation which will effect Portugal.
In hot areas of the world like California they are not taking any more electricity from home generators because it all arrives at the same time in the middle of the afternoon when they don’t need the capacity.
The same could become true in Portugal which has very similar weather to California.
Then there is the fact that the Portuguese government has passed laws enabling on and off shore oil drilling and the very dubious “Fracking” of natural gas.
Fracking refers to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing shale rock in order to liberate small pockets of oil and gas. The wells are drilled and then blasted deep in the earth with a pressurized mix of water, acid and sand to break the rocks around the well so that the oil or gas can be recovered.
So what does this mean to green solar power generators in Portugal ?
Lets take a look backwards first to 2013 and then 2007
Portugal 2013. In the first three months of the year, fully 70% of its electricity came from renewable’s. In June, that was 72%. Some 37% of that came from hydroelectric. But wind turbines did 27%.
Source ( http://www.worldwatch.org/trade-winds-sound-policies-push-portugal-renewable-energy-forefront)
What is driving Portugal to undertake such changes? One factor, of course, is the fact that the country does not possess any noteworthy fossil fuel resources, as illustrated by 2007 IEA data.
Yet in 2005, the bulk of Portugal’s gross electricity was generated by three fossil sources: coal (32.7%), natural gas (29.2%), and oil (18.9%). (48.1%) The country is therefore heavily dependent on imports that place a high toll on the national budget – amounting to 86 percent of spending in 2006, according to the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).
In its ENE 2020 strategy, Portugal aims to reduce fossil fuel imports 70 percent by 2020 and cut its energy import balance 25 percent, saving some US$2.55 billion.
Will this be by oil extraction and fracking?
If the results from oil drilling and fracking are a fraction of what they are expected to be I cant believe that the payments for small scale (home) power generators will be continued because they will become an unnecessary and costly to manage.
If your payback on the original self generation of solar power system is now going to take years longer. Will your battery bank last that long (currently 5 to 10 years) These batteries are very expensive to replace.
Think twice about investing in a payback scheme.