Historical government support for wind energy in Portugal – 2010

The following is a look back at the market for wind energy in 2010 and describes the outlooks and targets set at the time.
The development of wind power in the past has been slow in Portugal, mainly due to lack of tariff support. At the end of 2001, new legislation and tariffs were announced and by 2003 new wind park projects and new capacity had been installed.
The Portuguese Government now promotes RES principally via guaranteed feed-in tariffs for renewable electricity, direct subsidy payments (PRIME-Programme) and tax incentives. Beginning in 2005, a tendering/concession process has also been established. Subsidy payments and tax incentives have been largely, though not entirely, used for smaller-scale renewable energy applications. Feed-in tariffs and tendering schemes, used principally for larger-scale renewable applications.
Unusually, the feed-in tariff for onshore and offshore wind power in Portugal is set at the same level – EUR 7.4 cents per kWh. Therefore, it is more economical to build onshore wind farms than offshore.
In 2010 the Portuguese government proposed a natural strategy with a target of 8.5 GW of wind by 2020. Of which 500 MW is offshore. This is considerably less than the 6,875 MW of capacity and 75 MW of offshore wind proposed in the country’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP).
Also in 2010 the procedure to install additional equipment at existing wind farms was simplified, and all existing projects must have fault ride-through equipment.
A Large Hydro Plan has been implemented, which should result in an increase in pumped storage build out. This may have a knock on affect of increasing wind power capacity with pumped storage acting as back up for wind.
Vestas has agreed to supply a V80 2 MW turbine for a floating wind project, WindPlus, off the Portuguese coast. The project is a joint venture between EDP and Principle Power and has a budget of around EUR 18.4 million. Installation of the turbine should be completed by the end of 2011. The waters chosen for the project are 40 metres deep.