Correspondent in Lisbon
The Portuguese market lights up for Spanish energy companies. This week it was known that Iberdrola will build a solar power plant in the Algarve with a power of 83 megawatts. It is precisely the same southern region of Portugal where a Endesa’s project with similar characteristics, although in that case the cap is at 99 megawatts and its launch is scheduled for 2024, when its investment of 90 million euros is completed. So, the two Spanish energy giants cast their networks to further consolidate themselves on the other side of the border, where they have taken positions after gaining market share.
In the case of Iberdrola, the battery will have 14 megawatts of storage, which will serve to “stabilize the system and manage a discharge on the grid even in times of high demand.” The initiative will allow you to have a total of 255 megawatts of solar photovoltaic on Portuguese land, with headquarters in the Tagus Valley and in the Algarve itself, in addition to the 92 it has in the field of wind energy. The Spanish firm issued an official statement in this regard, explaining such movement in the country of fado: «This year, in a closed auction, the competitiveness of renewable energies was demonstrated once again, which represent the main vector to achieve decarbonisation and the electrification of the economy.
In the meantime, The construction of the hydroelectric macro-complex of the Tâmega River continues, very close to the border with Galicia and which includes three dams: Alto Tâmega, Gouvaes and Daivoes (the latter two with a planned schedule that will establish their opening throughout 2021, if the works proceed according to the expected rhythm). With an investment of 1,500 million euros, This ambitious project contemplates the output of a global power of 1,158 megawatts. A strip of wide utility since it will provide “clean” energy to 440,000 homes in the north, that is, 6% more capacity in the whole of the neighboring country.
“In this way, the company renews its commitment to the Portuguese electricity market, which has already seen it grow to a 28% share,” Iberdrola points out in highly significant terms. Nothing strange if we take into account that it already has 400,000 clients in its portfolio, including the supply of gas, as all the indicators certify.
With respect to Endesa, a subsidiary of the Italian conglomerate Enel, its presence in Portugal has also been catapulted and is the firm in the sector that has grown the most since this atypical 2020 started, marked by the economic crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, the Regulatory Entity of Energy Services has released its monthly report on this upward activity days ago. The result is that it portrays Endesa as a leader in the business segment, as it reflects the average index that is prepared by adding three categories: large consumers, small businesses and industrial consumers.
The explanations of the Portuguese company manager Miguel Mendes leave no room for doubt: “In the electricity sector, as is the case in Spain, the objective is to consolidate our position as a natural leader in the Portuguese business market. At this moment, we have a share in this segment of 22.4%, approximately. Our goal is to grow in the number of customers in all segments, with a special focus on the lower consumption segment and also in the public sector. In the commercialization of natural gas, Endesa is also present in the business sector with a 12.8% share in the large customers section and with the aim of maintaining second place in the Portuguese natural gas market ”.
For his part, another member of Endesa Portugal’s executive «staff», Inés Roque, offers more details in this regard: «The success and development of the marketer in the neighboring country is very relevant. Endesa, in the residential segment, is the company with the largest number of customers. We will soon reach 500,000 customers. “
All this favorable economic outlook for two flagship companies of the Spanish (and Iberian) energy fabric benefits from the fact that the so-called Liberalized Electricity Market grew by 2.4% last July, most likely as a consequence of the higher consumption in households since the confinement was decreed and, subsequently, since the precautions fly over each trip. There are exactly 12,100 more customers than the previous month, which brings the global figure to 5.3 million users.