Just a decade ago, criticism rained down on sunny, windy Portugal for not making the most of nature's gifts to develop renewable energy sources. Now all signs indicate that it did not fall on deaf ears, as the country has become a leader in the field.
Today, this southern European country of 10.5 million people on the west of the Iberian peninsula has substantially reduced its dependence on imported fossil fuels, and wind and solar energy now provide 35.9 percent of the electricity it consumes.
And when adjusted to take into account the 23 percent shortfall in hydroelectric power in 2009, wind and solar power represent 41.1 percent of electricity supply, according to the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN).
The greatest expansion was seen in Portugal's wind energy industry, which has taken second place in the world after Denmark, displacing Spain to third place.
(Inter Press Service)
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