Portugal drafts new rules to boost rooftop solar

Oct 25, 2019 08:24 PM ET
  • The regulations will come into effect on January 1 and will improve upon the regime introduced in 2014. The new provisions will for the first time provide a legislative framework for energy communities and storage deployment.
Portugal drafts new rules to boost rooftop solar
Image: aderna/Pixabay
Portugal’s state secretary for energy, João Galamba, has used Twitter to announce new rules for renewable energy self-consumption, energy storage and energy communities which were published by the government today.

The Portuguese government said the Decreto-Lei 162/2019 legislation will improve self-consumption guidelines issued in 2014 by providing a clearer and more favorable framework for the deployment of small and middle sized renewables projects.

The new rules, which will come into force on January 1, are expected to immediately spur development of self-consumption projects with the first installations driven by the change possibly finalized next year, the government said.

Collective self-consumption

The new provisions establish that excess power can be sold to the spot market or through bilateral power purchase agreements. The changes also simplify the authorization approval process for residential PV and raise the size limit for that category of installation, from 1.5 kW of generation capacity to 30 kW.

The provisions also provide a legislative framework for energy communities for the first time. Under the current regime, PV system owners were only allowed to power a single consumption unit. The new rules instead enable homeowners and businesses willing to become prosumers to aggregate their efforts in collective projects and share generation units.

The legislation, the government said, is aimed at helping the country reach its renewable energy target. As of the end of 2018, only 670 MW of solar capacity had been deployed in sunny Portugal, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Solar is expected to play a leading role in the Portuguese government’s new energy plan, which includes goals of providing 80% of the country’s power demand from renewables by 2030, and electrifying 65% of the economy by 2050.

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