LNEG technical report and map published on January 26.
For the 1st time it was evaluated which areas of (mainland) Portugal have less environmental and heritage sensitivity with a view to the deployment of renewable energy power plants. Within the scope of an inter-institutional working group, LNEG launches a pioneering study that contributes to anticipate by two years a European Commission requirement to face the current energy crisis.
Climate targets and the energy crisis in Europe require the acceleration of the implementation of solar power plants and wind farms. Both in Portugal and in the European Union there have been increasing land use conflicts, since it takes large areas to generate renewable electricity, sometimes already occupied with protected species or, for example, having mining or forestry interests. There may also be conflicts due to the impacts on landscape or on the archaeological heritage, among others.
This work identified areas with less sensitivity (environmental and heritage) that could be eligible for a more simplified permitting process for solar and wind power plants. It will thus be possible in the future to accelerate its deployment, while safeguarding other environmental and territorial values.
10 350 km2 of areas with less sensitivity were identified (i.e. 12% of the territory of mainland Portugal), which are distributed over practically all municipalities on the mainland. Most of these areas are in the Centro region (4 211 km2 i.e. ~41% of the national total of identified areas), followed by the Alentejo region (3 180 km2 or ~31% of the total) and the North region (2 461 km2 or ~24%). Finally, in the Algarve and Lisbon and Tagus Valley regions, only around 299 km2 and 205 km2 were mapped, respectively (3% and 2% of the national total, respectively).
Report: Simões, S.G., Barbosa, J., Oliveira, P., Patinha, P., Quental, L., Catarino, J., Simões, T., Rodrigues, C., Pinto, P.J.R., Azevedo, P., Cardoso, J.P., Picado, A. (2023) Identification of areas with less environmental and heritage sensitivity for the location of renewable electricity production units. pp. 61. LNEG Technical Report, Amadora, Portugal. http://hdl.handle.net/10400.9/4006