Open electricity market in Portugal?

Do anyone know if the electricity market in Portugal is closed. I.e. is there only one operator, the EDP? Or are there any more operators. If so, how can one switch between operators. Again, if so, are there any operators that aim at introducing as much renewable energy into their mix as possible (or maybe even only!)?

A deregularised electricity market could be beneficial for Portugal, if there are pro-active operators that aim to supply energy, e.g. as electricity, from renewable resources (non-fossil and non-nuclear!).


At July 25, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

You should talk to Rita about it. She has worked at EDP before on renewable energies. She says they are not viable yet, but talk to her about it. e-mail me and I´ll send you her e-mail address.

At July 25, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

I think EDP is the only operator to sell electricity in Portugal. I heard something about a Spanish company making an entry soon, but the market has to be deregulated first. I dunno if it is that.

Nocas said that EDP had to have a certain percentage of alternative energy sources in their mix.

renewable energy not viable? i know there are some concerns about various types of biofuel becauase the overall energy efficiency is not always that good. with fossil fuel one basically only have to pump it up but then that is not sustainable nor renewable ...

but then solar and wind power are very feasible and viable options. See my earlier post on wind power in the Minho valley.

At July 25, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

Well, she did the investment plan for one eolic park in Minho, exactly and I remember at that time her concerns for the viability of the project. The firm that is responsible for the electric energy in Portugal is REN - Rede Electrica Nacional. I did a project for REN last year concerning the spanish market. What we call the Iberian Market for Energy is supposed to be working already. Don´t really know how the project is standing now.

At July 26, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

REN does not actually provide the electricity, do they? Just the network or cables and transformers etc for distributing the electricity. At least that is what is says in their brochures.

Would combustion engines using fossil fuels be considered economically viable if one take the cost of environmental damage and negative impact on human health into account. Indeed, what is the cost of all the lives lost on our highways?

I fairly recently read an editorial in the Financial Times stating nuclear energy is not recommended because of it economical risks, especially when it comes to dismantling the nuclear plant and taking care of all radioactive waste afterwards.

What was it that was so troublesome with the economical viability of wind power plants? They forget to take the small environmental impact into consideration? Especially compared with fossil fuels and nuclear energy! That is, did they do a normal environmental impact analysis? It is actually required by law for this type of project!

With the Iberian Energy Market you imply that anyone can sell electricity? You only need the cable to connect to REN, or?

So now I can start to look around for an electrivity provider that provide 100% renewable electricity?
Sounds too good to be true!

At July 26, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

I just saw on the news that as of September 4 2006 the Portuguese can choose their electricity provider!


At July 27, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

Hi! Johan :)
I think it is really best to ask someone else about this because I might mistaken. I have a different idea on how the Energy market works. I´ll ask Rita to read this, ok? We´ll talk later :)

At July 27, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

Lets compare with Sweden. The market for electricity providers was opened so that a consumer can choose which provider they want to buy from. Of course there is a bit of paper work for each switch so there is "day trading" or anything like. There are some providers that push themselves as providers of green eletricity, and some actually do provide just that.

If I am not mistaken the 3 largest providers contribute with ca 90% of the consumed electricity in Sweden. Recently, an independent survey of the prices indicated that the prices have been increasing a lot. The big-3 put the blame of lack of rain hence little water for hydroelectric power, but the same surver indicated that this is mainly whitewash (ie lie - if you prefer a more blunt languange...).

Anyway, now the mention wind power park can start to sell their electricity without any middle men.

At July 29, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

Hi Johan,

Next is Rita´s comment to your blog. She cannot post here because she is not a blogger herself. Here it goes. Elsa


Elsa just asked me to comment on this subject, but there are just so many things to say that I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just keep it in simple aspects that I have in the head right now:

1. There are 3 “big” companies in Portugal generating electricity: Turbogás (works on natural gas only since 2002), TejoEnergia (works on coal, and it’s also known as “Central do Pego”), and EDP (group with several companies, where there is one only responsible for renewable energies). There are others from the independent or special regime that are very small producers, namely some renewable ones (see Associação Portuguesa de Produtores Independentes de Energia Eléctrica de Fontes Renováveis (APREN)).

2. All of those companies sell the produced energy to REN (owner of the grid), that can also buy Spain energy if at some hour of the day turns out to be cheaper (usually at night) to fulfil the load needs.

3. And then REN sells it again to a company that belongs to EDP’s group called “EDP Distribuição” (owner of mini grids), or to other mini-distributors that in their turn sell the electricity to the final consumers. This is very well explained in http://www.erse.pt/vpt/entrada/electricidade/agentesdosector/

3. Big consumers are able to choose their supplier since 2004, from the producers: EDP, Enel Viesgo, Iberdrola, Sodesa or Union Fenosa.

4. Domestic consumers will only be able to do this after September: More information on how this is going to work in http://www.millenniumbcp.pt/site/transaccoes/article.jhtml?articleID=383519 and in www.erse.pt

5. The integrated Portuguese and Spanish electricity market has its stock exchanges in the OMEL (for daily transactions, in Madrid) and OMIP (for forward transactions, in Lisbon)

6. About the renewables, as you may know we have to fulfil the European directive that says that by 2010 we have to produce 39% of the electricity from renewable sources. This is being mainly done thru wind parks because it’s the only technology that it has developed enough these last years and pays off the investment. Photovoltaic energy is not sufficiently developed and only works in Alentejo (where last month it started to be built the biggest power plant in the world of only 150MW…), hydro power is being used in almost everywhere its possible… geothermic, biomass and wave energy do not payoff, and the nuclear solution is what you know it is.

7. I doubt that domestic consumers will be able to choose “green energy” yet, because the companies from which we’ll be able to buy will be the typical Spanish ones (the actual ones that I described in 3.) that are also groups and that have within them sub-companies that are responsible for renewables, but don’t sell that energy independently. I don’t believe we will be able to buy directly from APREN, for example, because they’re part of a bigger group, as I’ve explained, called the special regime. So, the only way this could be done would be by creating green certificates, but I never saw anyone here talking about it…

Uau! a lot of information here! Well you can always read a piece that I find interesting about MIBEL in http://www.negocios.pt/default.asp?CpContentId=278788 by Sergio Figueiredo.

(Just for curiosity, it is my unit here that does the studies for the Regulator Entity to define the tariffs.)

I hope I’ve help you somehow, and sorry about my english …!


At July 31, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

thanks for the info, I will look into it.

the latest electricity provider i had in sweden had an option of paying a small portion extra for energy from renewable resources.

sadly that is a deterrent, maybe the state should increase the taxes on fossil fuels in order to make the transition to a sustainble society quicker?

At August 06, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

It is a bit baffling to run through all that info. I trust that DECO will publish something about this soon.

Union Fenosa website only works woth MSIE, that is not a good sign ...

Iberdrola has a lot of wind power and some of the Spanish also a proponents of more efficient energy use.

That is in stark contrast with the Portuguese gas company PortGas that tell their clients to turn up the gas because they want everyone to have tropical climate indoors! Wonderfully huge gas bills and what a waste of energy, since most Portuguese houses are very far from being energy efficient ... I guess PortGas are not concerned about minor details like the Kyoto Protocol ...


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