Portugal to launch huge solar energy auction next week
The soon-to-be auctioned solar energy represents more than double the country’s current capacity, which is just over 600 MW, with the government aiming to reach approximately 9,000 MW of this renewable energy by 2027
LISBON: With interest from European and Asian investors, Portugal is set to launch an international mega-auction of solar energy next week, the secretary of state for energy said on Tuesday, adding the country hoped to hold two such auctions every year.
“It will be an auction for 1,400 MW of solar energy, which is the largest auction of any kind of energy ever made in Portugal,” Joao Galamba told Reuters, adding that the auction is scheduled to launch on June 17.
The soon-to-be auctioned solar energy represents more than double the country’s current capacity, which is just over 600 MW, with the government aiming to reach approximately 9,000 MW of this renewable energy by 2027.
“There are many interested (investors) abroad, many Europeans but also Asians,” he said, adding the plan was to hold two annual auctions of solar energy until the country reaches the 9,000 MW goal. “We have high expectations that will be very competitive and will benefit consumers.”
Galamba also confirmed an auction for lithium exploration in Portugal will launch at some point this month.
“Our goal was to significantly strengthen the environmental component,” he said. “The most important component of all is that the granting of future concessions is conditional on the construction of a lithium refinery in Portugal, or linking up with a refinery.”
Officials have said various international groups have expressed interest in exploring for lithium in Portugal, which is the world’s sixth-largest producer and Europe’s biggest.
Its miners sell almost exclusively to the ceramics industry and are only now gearing up to produce the higher-grade lithium for use in electric cars and electronics.
A government study last year put the potential investment in five of the most attractive lithium-bearing areas at 3.3 billion euros.