Portugal’s solar energy auction breaks world record

A solar farm in Portugal [@PerEnergia Twitter]

Portugal’s huge auction of solar energy broke a world record, with one of the 24 licences on offer selling for 14.76 euros per megawatt hour (Mwh), the secretary of state for energy Joao Galamba said on Tuesday (30 July).

Of the entities initially competing for the 1,150 megawatt (MW) auction, there were 13 winners, Galamba said, without giving any names. A source familiar with the matter said there were various European players among the winners but Portugal’s EDP and Galp did not make it.

Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Negocios reported that Spain’s Iberdrola won seven of the 24 licences available and France’s Akuo won 370 megawatts (MW).

Based on the locations where solar plants will be installed, auctions were held where the winners would be those offering the highest discounts to the bidding tariff of 45 euros MWh.

“This first auction in Portugal was a success,” Galamba told Reuters. “There were brutal discounts and, in addition to getting the lowest prices in Europe, we hit new world lows.”

Last year, Solar Power Europe said in a report that the lowest bids on solar energy auctions worldwide took place in India at a rate of 16.7 euros MWh.

It is the largest licensing auction of any kind of energy launched in Portugal and represents more than double the current installed capacity of solar energy in the country.

“This auction shows that the energy transition, to which the government is committed, not only can strongly accelerate investment and the penetration of renewables in Portugal, but it can be done at very low prices,” Galamba added.

Portugal breaks 100% renewables mark but remains isolated

Portugal produced more power from clean energy sources in March than it actually needed, marking the first time in the 21st century that renewables have topped 100% of its production. But a dearth of energy connections with the rest of Europe remains problematic.

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