According to Eurostat, Portugal’s GDP dropped this year by 5,4%, the greatest fall in Europe! Rating agency Moody declared, that Portugal is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic as small and medium-sized companies represent a large proportion of the GDP and its high dependency on tourism. The IMF is pessimistic about the recovery, expecting only a small surplus of +0,5% from 2024 onward.
Fortunately, the energy transition gains momentum.
Closure of the coal-fired power plant in Sines means a 12% reduction in the national emission of greenhouse gases every year!
If it is up to the socialist government, Portugal will become a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen (H2) gas. If all goes well, there could be 50-100 hydrogen stations by 2030, and is the percentage of hydrogen incorporated in the national gas network 10-15%.
A planned 1.5 billion industrial project near the deepwater port of Sines will produce 1GW of renewable electricity from solar and wind and 1 GW of green hydrogen from electrolyzers, provided the EU co-finances this integrated ecosystem.
Another climate-friendly project is the initiative of the Water Treatment Plant (ETA) to become neutral in energy consumption. This so-called ClorH20 program combines the production of hydrogen with that of chlorine, necessary for the disinfection of water. Instead of importing liquid chlorine, ETA will build an electrolyzer, that not only produces hydrogen but chlorine gas as well.
A British-US consortium is to invest 3.5 billion euros to build one of Europe’s largest sustainable data centers with access to trans-Atlantic fiber-optic cables in the port of Sines. Dubbed Sines 4.0, the center – with a 450 MW capacity and a zero carbon footprint – is expected to create up to 8,000 highly qualified jobs by 2025.
On the first of June the submarine optic cable EllaLink – connecting Europe to South America – was inaugurated in Sines by the Portuguese Presidency of the European Council.
Local Braga company Rosseti Engenharia has signed a 23 million contract for a mega solar parc in the Alentejo province, capable of generating 100 GWh, enough to provide over 30,000 homes with green electricity.
Environmentalists warn that the race to embrace solar energy can have disastrous effects on the environment if these parks – some of them stretching over 1,000 hectares – are being built in sensitive areas.
Lithium – a key ingredient in batteries for electric vehicles and mobile phones – plays an essential role in the energy decarbonization agenda. As the north and center of the country have an abundance of this so-called ‘white gold,’ Portugal is keen to play its part. However, tenders for possible exploration are to exclude natural parks and Natura 2000 areas.
As a result of this ruling, the Government decided this year to cancel a contentious 500 million lithium mining project in the uppermost northern Montalegre region, a United Nations Agricultural Heritage site.
Keep fit Fique saudável (pic Ptnews/Ptresid)