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Biofuels in Portugal

In Portugal electricity represents around 20% of final energy consumption, of which 30% to 40% is renewable-based, mainly large hydro plants. Of the renewable technologies, wind power has been growing fastest over recent years. Targets exist for new renewables: for wave power a pilot area will be chosen for testing different concepts.

Portugal is developing actions to increase and improve the environmental issues in the energetic laws, with base in the “Estratégia Nacional para a Energia” - RCM n.º 169/2005 (Energetic National Strategy). In this context, all the efforts are to look for a more sustainable energy using the best available technology and, in long term, to support the development of new technologies.

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Portugal is 31% (in the year 2005 the share was 20.5%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Portugal
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Portugal was submitted in August 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 31% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year exactly matches the target.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (2322 ktoe, 38% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from wind power (14.6 TWh or 1255 ktoe, 21% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from hydropower (14.1 TWh or 1210 ktoe, 20% of all renewable energy). Wind power contributes with 6.9 GW (14.6 TWh) in the year 2020 (onshore wind 6.8 GW and 14.4 TWh, offshore wind 0.1 GW and 0.2 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 1.0 GW (1.5 TWh). For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 160 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 450 ktoe (biodiesel) and 27 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 1.5 TWh (126 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 0.5 TWh (45 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 1484 ktoe for solid biomass and 37 ktoe for biogas.

Renewable transport fuels (biofuel)
The Directive 2003/30EC was transposed into Portuguese law in January 2006. The following incentives would be set out for biofuels in the coming years:
- Partial exemption from excise duties (in particular from the ISP-tax on fuel products) up to a quota set every year. The following biofuel quantities apply: in 2006, 2%; in 2007, 3%; between 2008 and 2010, 5.75% (percentages of the previous year's consumption of petrol and diesel).
- It provides for the possibility of imposing a quota for biofuels in transport fuels, in cases where their incorporation in the preceding year was less that the figure expected.
- The biofuel produced in pilot projects may be covered by total ISP (tax on fuel products) ex-emption, subject to conditions to be laid down by the Directorate General for Customs and Ex-cise.
- The conclusion of agreements on the use of biodiesel in public passenger and goods transport fleets, with over 10% biodiesel incorporation into fossil fuels.

Future programme changes expected
No information available on future policy changes.


Interactive EurObserv’ER Database,, 2007

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Entry into force on June 25th, 2009), download from

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: December 2010

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