This record, according to Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), occurred between 04:00 on October 31 and 09:00 on November 6. Renewable production supplied 61% of Portugal’s electricity consumption in 2023, a total of 31.2 TWh, the highest value ever in the national system.

With regard to the balance of electricity production in Mainland Portugal, between January 1 and December 31 of 2023, 44,128 GWh of electricity was generated, 70.7% of which came from renewable sources.

Balance of electricity generation in Mainland Portugal (Source: APREN)

These results are due to investment in the electricity generation park in terms of the origin of the main sources of supply over the last two decades.

Evolution of Installed Power in Portugal (Source: DGEG e APREN).

The greater use of Portuguese endogenous and renewable resources for electricity production has changed the composition of the electricity production mix in Portugal and has consequently played an increasingly decisive role in satisfying consumption.

Evolution of Electricity Production in Mainland Portugal (Sources: REN and APREN).

As far as energy consumption is concerned, tanneries usually have a higher thermal component of energy than the electrical component. The thermal component is usually two to four times higher than the electrical component. Electricity is essentially consumed in the driving force of equipment and in offices, while fuels (mainly fuel oil, natural gas and biomass) are consumed in steam boilers.

The National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNEC 2030), approved by Council of Ministers Resolution 53/2020, was developed in conjunction with the objectives of the Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality 2050 (RNC2050) and is the main national energy and climate policy instrument for the next decade, towards a carbon-neutral future.

The PNEC 2030 sets ambitious but achievable targets for 2030 for the reduction of GHG emissions (45% to 55% compared to 2005), the incorporation of renewable energies (47%), energy efficiency (35%) and interconnections (15%) and puts into practice the policies and measures for the effective implementation of the guidelines set out in the RNC2050.

Of the most representative industries in the tanning sector, around 44% have already incorporated the production of electricity from renewable sources for self-consumption, 100% of which comes from solar energy.

Example of solar panel installations in a tanning industry (Source: Dermaleather)

Also associated with the Portuguese leather cluster, there was an investment in the production of photovoltaic energy for self-consumption at the Alcanena wastewater treatment plant, operated by Aquanena.

Unit for Self-consumption – Alcanena WWTP (Source: Aquanena).

The purpose of the UPAC installation is to produce electricity for self-consumption at the Alcanena wastewater treatment plant, with an installed capacity of 999 Kw. It is expected to reduce the total cost of energy consumed at the WWTP by around 25%.

Sources: REN, APREN,, DGEG, Aquanena

This article is an advertorial provided by the Associação Portuguesa de Industriais de Curtumes (APIC).