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Portugal

Climate change mitigation (Portugal)

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

 

There is a close relationship between climate change and GHG emissions. Climatic phenomena linked to heavy precipitation and droughts look likely to become more frequent in the future. The effects in Portugal can already be seen throughout society to a varying extent and mitigation measures are therefore needed in all sectors. Portugal is also extremely exposed as a result of its vulnerability to rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

 

Since 1970, the average temperature has increased in all Portuguese regions at a rate of 0.35 oC per decade, which is more than double the world rate. Heat waves occurred in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and, during the period 2004-2006, the country was hit by the most severe drought since 1940. Precipitation levels do not display any significant tendencies, although there is some irregularity at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. There are also some months with heavy precipitation and snow fall in low altitude areas.

 

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

DRIVERS

Portugal is highly dependent on transforming imported fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, as it does not have any non-renewable resources worth using. Nevertheless, in 2008, primary energy consumption amounted to 24.4 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent), which is 5 % less than the previous year and 14 % less than the 2005 consumption levels. In 2008, gross energy consumption per capita amounted to 2.298 toe per inhabitant.

 

Figure 1 Trend in primary energy consumption by fuel, Portugal 

Fig. 1 - Trend in primary energy consumption by fuel, Portugal

Source: DGEG, 2010

 

Total energy consumption levels continue to show this trend: 18.54 Mtoe in 2008, which is 1 % less than the previous year, and 12 % less than the 2005 consumption levels. Figure 2 gives an indication of the country’s high oil dependency (52 % in 2008). Natural gas and electricity are gaining some ground but the energy mix is likely to hold over the next few years. The total energy consumption per capita amounts to 1.745 toe per inhabitant.

 

Figure 2 Trend in total energy consumption by fuel in Portugal

Fig. 2 - Trend in total energy consumption by fuel in Portugal

 Source: DGEG, 2010

 

Figure 3 shows the current status of total energy consumption per sector following recent structural changes in the economy. As the economy becomes more service-based the energy consumption share in industry is decreasing, however, consumption in the transport and service sectors has increased against the 1990 levels. The household consumption share has fallen even though consumption levels are higher.

 

Figure 3 Total energy consumption by sector, Portugal 2008

 

Fig. 3 - Total energy consumption by sector, Portugal 2008

Source: DGEG, 2010

 

Since 2005 there has been a decoupling of GDP (real GDP at 2000 levels) growth from total energy consumption. Total energy intensity is now 3 % below 1990 levels, at 185 toe per EUR million, but still above the EU-15 level. This is a consequence of the low energy efficiency in some economic sectors.

 

Figure 4 Trend in energy consumption and intensity, Portugal

Fig. 4 - Trend in energy consumption and intensity, Portugal

  Source: DGEG, 2010

 

The share of renewable energy sources is increasing as is the variety of options available, with wind power experiencing significant development recently. Hydropower has an important share but is dependent on the regularity of the hydrological production index, which in Portugal has been below the 1997 base values for several years. In 2007, although biomass and waste amounted to around 11 % of the total primary consumption, less than 1 % of it was used for electrical production.

 

Figure 5 Trend in share of renewable energy sources – primary energy consumption, Portugal 

Fig. 5 - Trend in share of renewable energy sources – primary energy consumption, Portugal

Source: DGEG, 2009

 

In 2007, the share of renewable electricity (around 35 %) was more or less the same as in 1998 and was mainly derived from coal and gas thermoelectric plants. This implies that the growing electricity demand is being supplied by more renewable energy, thus maintaining the same levels. Given that the country has faced several years of drought recently, renewable sources other than hydropower have also gained some ground.

 

Figure 6 Renewable electricity share of gross electricity consumption, Portugal

Fig. 6 - Renewable electricity share of gross electricity consumption, Portugal

Source: DGEG, 2009

 

The transport sector is responsible for the largest share of total energy consumption. In Portugal, modal share has steadily grown in favour of private vehicle ownership, while public road and rail transport shares have decreased. This is due to real estate development and increasing urban sprawl which, in turn, has stimulated the acquisition of private vehicles.

 

Figure 7 Trend in passenger transport demand by mode, Portugal

Fig. 7 - Trend in passenger transport demand by mode, Portugal 

 Source: INE, 2007

 

Portugal has yet to decouple real GDP growth from passenger transport demand. This relates to energy efficiency and intensity, as well as economic productivity.

 

Figure 8 Trend in passenger transport demand and GDP, Portugal

Fig. 8 

 Source: INE, 2007

 

Due to its geographical location on the periphery of the European Union, Portugal is highly dependent on road freight transportation. Rail freight is still marginal and is mostly used within national borders.

 

Figure 9 Trend in freight transport volume demand by mode, Portugal 

Fig. 9 - Trend in freight transport volume demand by mode, Portugal

Source: INE, 2007

Demand for freight transportation has been growing faster than real GDP, as in passenger transport demand.

 

Figure 10 Trend in freight transport demand and GDP, Portugal

Fig. 10 - Trend in freight transport demand and GDP, Portugal

 Source: INE, 2007

 

PRESSURES

Total GHG emissions in Portugal, excluding land use, land-use change and forestry, have increased by around 2 % per year since 1990. Total emissions for 2008 were 78.5Mt CO2e, which is around 5.5 % above the Kyoto target for 2008-2012, although this rate appears to have been decreasing steadily. In 2008, GHG emissions were mainly composed of 77 % CO2 (37 % increase on 1990 levels), 16 % CH4 (26 % increase on 1990 levels) and 7 % NO2 (6 % reduction on 1990 levels).

 

Figure 11 Total GHG emissions and Kyoto target, Portugal 2008 (excluding LULUCF)

Fig. 11 - Total GHG emissions and Kyoto target, Portugal 2008 (excluding LULUCF)

Source: IPCC Inventory 2008, APA 2010

 

Emissions mainly originate from the production and processing of fossil fuels and their use for transport purposes, these areas having seen respective increases of 20 % and 92 % against 1990 levels.

 

Figure 12 Total GHG emissions by sector, Portugal 2008 

Fig. 12 - Total GHG emissions by sector, Portugal 2008

Source: IPCC Inventory 2008, APA 2010

 

Private car ownership, and consequently transport sector emissions, increased significantly during the 1990s. Although the introduction of new automobile technologies and taxes had helped to reduce acidic and ozone precursor substances, Portugal still has to decouple total energy consumption in this sector from GHG emissions.

 

Figure 13 Transport – total energy consumption and emissions, Portugal 

Fig. 13 - Transport – total energy consumption and emissions, Portugal

Source: IPCC Inventory 2008, APA 2008

 

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Portugal’s commitment as part of the EU burden-sharing agreement under the Kyoto Protocol is to limit the increase of its GHG emissions to 27 % between 1990 and the first commitment period of 2008-2012. Portugal’s assigned amount under Kyoto for the period 2008-2012 is 382 Mt CO2e, or 76.39 Mt CO2e/year.

Portugal is actively committed to complying with Kyoto and reducing its GHG emissions. The main instruments for fulfilling Portugal’s obligations under climate change agreements are the National Climate Change Programme (PNAC 2006 and new measures in 2007), the Emission Trading Scheme - National Allocation Plan 2008-2012 (PNALE II) and the Portuguese Carbon Fund.

National projections indicate that Portugal will meet its Kyoto target. According to PNAC projections for the reference scenario, it is estimated that Portugal’s GHG emissions will reach 84.61 Mt CO2e by 2010. The GHG emissions reduction potential from additional measures (3.69 Mt CO2e/year) will result in total emissions of 80.9 Mt CO2e by 2010 under the PNAC 2006 scenario “with additional measures”. Taking into consideration the emissions reduction potential of the new 2007 measures (evaluated as 1.56 Mt CO2e/year), the emissions will be 79.36 Mt CO2e. This value is 2.97 Kt CO2e higher than the assigned amount under the Kyoto target (76.39 Kt CO2e). With the emissions reduction effort of 0.09 Mt CO2e/year from PNALE II the emissions deficit will amount to 2.88 Mt CO2e/year and this will be compensated by the Portuguese Carbon Fund (see figure below).

 

Figure 14 Use of the various mechanisms to comply with Kyoto

Fig. 14 - Use of the various mechanisms to comply with Kyoto

 

 

During 2008, a study was conducted using the TIMES model to evaluate the impact of the proposals contained in the EU climate and energy package for Portugal for 2020. The study included estimates of the GHG emissions situation for the activities covered and not covered by the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), and for the renewable component in the total national energy balance for 2020.

It should be emphasised that the PT TIMES model was made to accommodate a series of policies and measures (P & M), with four P & M scenarios considered for analysis, resulting in the respective emissions scenarios for 2020: Business-as-Usual Scenario (BAU), Kyoto Trend Scenario (QUIT), Kyoto Change Scenario (QUIM) and Road Map Renewables Scenario (RMAP).

The study concluded that the development of GHG emissions resulting from activities not covered by the ETS is very similar for all the scenarios studied (‐4 % and ‐5 %), with the exception of the BAU (+6 %), showing the importance of the additional PNAC measures. Transport is the sector showing the most significant reduction, resulting from the renewal of the fleet, the assumed intermodal transfers, as considered in PNAC 2006, and the inclusion of bio fuels. As a consequence it would become the third highest sector for emissions, after energy supply and industry. Despite the increase in demand for energy services, a reduction is forecast in emissions from the service sector due to the substitution of heating oil for electricity and the use of more efficient technologies.

Emissions from activities under the ETS will see a similar increase for all scenarios (+8 % and +10 % against 2005 levels), with the exception of the RMAP (‐11 %), The electricity-production sector will continue to be the main source, responsible for over 50 % of emissions in ETS (with the exception of the RMAP scenario).


Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

 

At the beginning of 2008, a new set of policies and measures was added to the National Climate Change Programme (PNAC 2006) through Cabinet Resolution No. 1/2008 (RCM 1/2008) in order to further strengthen Portugal’s commitments to reducing emissions in key sectors such as energy (supply and demand) and transport.

 

RCM 1/2008 also approved the ETS National Allocation Plan for the period 2008-2012 (PNALE II) and provided an update on GHG allocations by sector for each of the activities established in Annex I of Directive 2003/87/EC: electricity-generation, refineries, co-generation, cement and lime, ceramics, glass, pulp and paper, ferrous metal and combustion installations. The total amount awarded was capped at 34.81 Mt CO2/year, which was 9 % below the previous period. Of the total amount, 30.50 Mt CO2/year represents existing installations listed in PNALE II and the remainder (4.30 Mt CO2/year) is set aside as a reserve for new entrants.

 

The Portuguese Carbon Fund has been created to address participation in the Kyoto mechanisms and ensure compliance with Kyoto. According to current investment planning, the final Kyoto deficit to be offset by the Portuguese Carbon Fund will be 2.88 Mt CO2e/year.

 

In 2008, the energy production and transformation and the transport sectors were responsible for almost half of gasoline engine emissions (GEE) (49 %). The transport sector is also the most costly in terms of total energy use (36 %). This has effects on both carbon and energy intensity which, although currently higher, have been showing signs of convergence with EU-15 levels since 2005. National policies are thus primarily concerned with energy efficiency and diversification in these sectors, although the approach does not exclude other sectors, such as industry and households.

The National Allocation Plans have established several measures and policies with a view to achieving the following national goals:

 

Energy Sector

·         45 % of electricity production based on renewable energy sources by 2010 and 60 % by 2020 (31 % by 2008)

·         31 % share of renewable energy sources of the total energy consumption by 2020 (17 % in 2008)

·         10 % decrease in total energy consumption by 2015 and 20 % by 2020 compared to 1990 levels (152 % in 2008)

·         5 100 MW of power provided by wind energy installations by 2012 (5 625 MW 2008)

·         5 575 MW of power provided by hydro energy installations by 2010 and 8 600 MW by 2020 (4 810 MW in 2008)

·         Construction of biomass power plants with 250 MW capacity to replace 5-10 % of the coal used in thermoelectric power plants.

 

Transport Sector

·         “Renew your Car” programme, aiming to upgrade transport emissions by eliminating end-of-life vehicles

·         Urban Mobility programme, aiming to move users from individual to public transport through modal transfers and mobility plans to induce behavioural change

·         Increasing the share of bio fuels to 10 %.

 

Finally, there are plans to introduce a National Plan for Energy Efficiency to accompany these measures, with the aim of achieving a 20 % increase in energy efficiency by 2020.

 

 

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