All of Portugal Is Powered by Sun, Wind, Water for 4 Days Straight

By Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca
May 19, 2016 Updated: May 19, 2016

Portugal was able to sustain its nation of 10.4 million people completely on renewable energy for a record four whole days. 

Four-and-a-half days, or 107 hours, to be more exact 

From 6:45am, local time, on May 7 until 5:45pm on May 11, the electricity grid of the Iberian nation was sustained completely by solar, wind, and hydro power, according to data from Portugal’s National Energy Network (REN)

Portugal, who in 2014 had a population of 10.4 million, has a rapidly expanding renewable energy industry. 

According to European statistics, Portugal generated only 23 percent of its electricity from solar, wind, and hydro sources in 2013. 

A picture taken on March 5, 2014 off the coast of Agucadoura, near Porto, shows a 'Windfloat,' or floating wind turbine (Marc Preel/AFP/Getty Images)
A ‘Windfloat,’ or floating wind turbine off the coast of Agucadoura, near Porto, Portugal, on March 5, 2014. (Marc Preel/AFP/Getty Images)

Yet, in 2015, Portugal generated 22 percent of its electricity from wind power alone, according an Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN) analysis of REN data.

Renewable energy made up 30.7 percent of Portugal’s electricity production in 2015.

On May 16, Bloomberg reported that Germany was able to supply 45.5 gigawatts of its 45.8-gigawatt power demand on May 15. 

Bloomberg noted that the price of power on the European Power Exchange even turned negative for a number of 15-minute intervals on May 15. 

As The Guardian pointed out, this means that European energy consumers were effectively being paid to use power during those intervals.  

Giuliana Manca
Giuliana Manca