Nowadays, we are inserted in an increasingly environmentalist society due to the process of ecological awareness that has been carried out over the last years by governmental entities both in Portugal and in the rest of the world. Portugal, despite being a small country has geographic conditions that allow the exploitation of renewable natural resources, namely for the production of energy, promoting the efficiency and sustainability of renewable energies.
As a result of these favourable natural conditions and the focus on renewable energy sources, there is an increasing prospect of the possibility of electricity consumption in Portugal being made entirely through renewable resources. And this is possible, indeed: it has happened once in 2016 and it happened again this year between March 9th and 12th (in a timespan of 69 hours) electricity consumption in Portugal was fully ensured by renewable sources. This phenomenon was mainly due to the fact that in these days a very high precipitation rate has been verified, as well as the existence of strong and constant winds. It should also be noted that national wind power stations alone supplied electricity consumption by around 65% in this period, according to APREN – Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies. The same source indicates that the electricity of renewable origin produced in this period of time was 521 GWh, while the national electricity consumption was of 408 GWh. This event clearly demonstrated the importance of renewable sources for the sustainable supply of electricity needs in Portugal.
According to APREN, “in Portugal, renewable energy plants – hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass – annually produce, on average, 54% of the national electricity needs, which allows to reduce the imports of fossil fuels in near 750 million euros per year “
If in winter it is possible to ensure self-sufficiency due to the natural conditions characteristic of this season (rain and wind), in the summer this capacity to satisfy the energy needs will not be so high. In this way, it becomes crucial to make a sustained commitment to the use of solar photovoltaic energy so that also at this time of year significant contributions from renewable energy sources are achieved.
In order to Portugal be able to resort exclusively to renewable energy sources as a source of supply, it will be necessary to carry out constant forecast studies in order to anticipate all kinds of meteorological events, which allow the development of well-defined strategies.
Smartwatt provides this kind of service to energy transmission and distribution companies in Portugal through its prediction algorithms based on innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and data mining, that make it possible to forecast power from renewable sources. In this way, events like what happened between March 9th and 12th may become more and more frequent with the help of companies such as Smartwatt.