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Portugal’s renewable energy production hit new record in 2023

LISBON, Jan 2 (Reuters) – Renewable power sources supplied 61% of Portugal’s electricity in 2023, up from 49% a year earlier, hitting a new record thanks to periods of heavy rains, strong winds and good doses of sunshine, grid operator REN said on Tuesday.

The country aims to generate 85% of its annual electricity from renewable sources by 2030 but it already has one of the highest ratios in Europe.

European nations are increasingly betting on renewable energy, especially after gas prices hit record highs following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which was Europe’s top gas supplier.

Last year, wind energy accounted for a quarter of all electricity usage in the southern European nation, while hydropower made up 23%, solar 7% and biomass 6%, according to REN.

In the natural gas market, consumption dropped 21% from 2022, with 95% of the volumes entering the country via its deepwater port of Sines and the remaining 5% received through the interconnection with neighbouring Spain.

Last month, more than 100 countries at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai agreed to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 but they are set to face several challenges, from a labour shortage to high costs of implementing projects.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Emelia Sithole-Matarise