How Portugal will become carbon nuetral by 2050
Lisbon, Portugal - Photo credit, Granito & Free Images - Pixabay
Welcome to the twenty-seventh edition of my weekly blog where I take a closer look at the policies adopted by individual countries in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Particular attention is paid to the role that Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) research and technologies are playing in the drive to meet these requirements.
Having examined the role of bauxite treatment in reducing CO2 emissions last week, I’m returning to my country-by-country analysis and this week I’m focusing on Portugal.
Portugal ranks seventh highest under Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the country’s highest ranking since the index’s inception in January 2006, a 4.32% score increase over the ten year period.
Paris Agreement Targets
Portugal is fully committed to meeting its Paris Agreement targets and was one of 28 countries who developed a ‘Roadmap to US$100 Billion’ by 2020 with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The roadmap will see $100Bn per year spent in tackling climate change in developing countries. Portugal has already achieved 87% of its 2020 Paris Agreement goal. The installation of 12,300 MW of renewable technology has aided this rate of progression. At the recent COP22 conference in Marrakesh, Morroco, Mr. António Costa, Portugal’s Prime Minister reiterated the nation’s support of climate change policy, stating that Portugal’s long-term goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050.
48% of electricity generation in Portugal in 2015 came from renewables sources, with wind energy accounting for 22% of overall electricity generation. In May 2016, Portugal powered its economy using renewable energy sources for four consecutive days. This is a very positive development and helps vindicate the nation’s recent investment in renewable technology.
In 2015, a reported called ‘CO2 Capture and Storage in Portugal, a bridge to a low carbon economy’ was published. The report was partly financed by the Global CCS Institute. The authors of the report represented research, educational and government bodies such as Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Universidade de Évora, Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia (LNEG), Rede Eléctrica Nacional, S.A. (REN), and Bellona Foundation. The report considered the potential for CCUS projects in Portugal in support of EU commitment towards reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels.
The cement and power industries were identified as the industries where the best opportunities for the implementation of CCUS technologies resided. The report found that under high socio-economic development and an 80% GhG emissions reduction target, CCS technologies would be cost effective from 2030 onwards. Portugal has a strong renewable energy industry and for that reason, the potential for CCS deployment in the cement industry is greater than the power sector.
The report also noted that without the deployment of CCS technology over the coming years and decades, electricity prices could be as much as three times that of a scenario where CCS technologies are used in the energy sector.
Portugal has ambitious plans to become a carbon neutral economy by 2050 and has invested in both CCUS research and renewable technology in a bid to achieve this target. The CCUS research identified the scope for CCUS technology in the concrete and power industries. The country has already proved that it can consume electricity generated solely from renewable sources for four days and therefore proves that its 2050 goal is a realistic one given the time horizon.
Next week’s blog will profile Estonia and their efforts to meet their CO2 emissions reduction targets.