Portugal Member Committee

Associação Portuguesa da Energia

Associação Portuguesa de Energia is a non-governmental, non-profit charity, aiming to promote sustainable energy, through reflection, debate and targeted initiatives, which will improve the energy sector’s contribution to the Portuguese economy and quality of life. The Association is the national member committee of the World Energy Council, and has among its constituent members the main energy operators, industries and services companies.

Jorge Cruz Morais is the Chair of the Portuguese Energy Association, the national member committee of the World Energy Council. He holds a degree in electrical engineering (Instituto Superior Técnico, 1980) and a MBA (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1988). He began his career at EDP, in 1983, in Grid Distribution Development. He was a non-Executive Member of the Board of Directors of Turbogás (1998-2000), and of Electricidade dos Açores (1999-2000) and Board Member of the Centre for Energy Conservation (1993-1996). Between 2000 and 2004, he was an Executive Member of the Board of Directors of ONI SGPS and other companies in the ONI Group, having assumed the function of CFO between 2002 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006 he was the CFO at HC Energia and Naturgas Energia (both EDP Group). From 2006 until February 2012 he was an Executive Member of the Board of Directors of the EDP Group. Since February he has been the President of EDP Internacional and General Manager of the EDP Group.

Bento de Morais Sarmento was appointed Executive Secretary of the Associação Portuguesa da Energia, the Portuguese Member Committee of WEC, in October 2010. He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering (Instituto Superior Técnico, 1968) and Refining Engineering (Institute Français du Pétrole, 1973) and a MBA (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1986). He was appointed deputy-chairman at the Energy Emergencies Planning Board from the Ministry of Industry and Energy in 1986. He has also served as deputy director-general at the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology. He has been representative at several energy related international committees, namely at NATO, IEA and EU and participated in a few international missions.

Energy in Portugal

portugal, critical uncertainties, action priorities

There is little change in this year’s action priorities for Portugal compared to 2019, with a continued focus on decarbonisation processes and less uncertainty around EU Cohesion. Critical Uncertainties revolve around digitalisation and innovation issues.

IoT/Blockchain stands alone as a top Critical Uncertainty in this year’s report. Portugal is implementing digital solutions to empower customers, in particular in the residential sector with the installation of intelligent meters. For this reason, IoT and blockchain are expected to have a strong impact, although not yet in the short term.

Innovative Transport moves from Action Priority to Critical Uncertainty. This is likely in response to the shift to electric vehicles and low/zero carbon fuels, which is proceeding at a slower pace than expected. Portugal plans to use electromobility and low carbon fuels to decarbonise its transport sector, making use of the high share of renewable electricity already achieved. Its Roadmap for Emissions Neutrality aims for GHG reductions of 50% by 2030, 84% by 2040 and 98.5% by 2050.

Cyber Threats have moved into the Critical Uncertainty section, in alignment with other advanced economies. Digitalisation and AI applications are moving at a rapid pace in the transition to more decarbonised and decentralised energy systems. Portugal is in the process of digitalising its small and medium businesses, which have a big role in the economy but are more vulnerable to cyber threats than their large counterparts, which are leading the transition.

Energy Efficiency has moved down the scale of Action Priorities and is lumped with EU Cohesion and Climate Framework. Portugal introduced incentives designed to improve efficiency in several sectors as part of its National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. This resulted in energy savings of the equivalent of 303 tonnes of oil per year since 2016, according to the IEA. Uncertainty around this issue must be understood in relation to the advancements achieved thus far. As the simplest measures have already been successfully implemented, Portugal is now faced with measures which are much more difficult to implement extensively, such as buildings’ insulation.

EU Cohesion has moved up the scale of Action Priorities amid uncertainties as to when the UK will exit the European Union and on what terms. This will have implications for the Portuguese economy in general and may reduce the budget of programs with impact on the energy sector.

Renewable Energies remain stable as an Action Priority as new generation capacity is being awarded, particularly in solar generation. In 2018, Portugal produced 46% of its electricity from renewables, including biomass, hydropower, wind and solar energies. Portugal’s integration in the Iberian Electricity Market means that it cannot participate in the European market and fully deploy its renewable generation potential. This is due to its geographic location and the lack of enough storage capacity and regional grid interconnections.

Portugal is well positioned in its Energy-Climate agenda policy and aiming to meet the ambitious 2030 and 2050 targets. Portuguese companies and research centres are responding to the Energy Transition, adapting processes, investing in innovation and supporting start-up programs.


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