23 March 2007 – Portugal plans investments of €8.1bn ($10.8bn) in renewable energy projects over the next five years, according to government officials.
Antonio Castro Guerra, assistant secretary of state for Industry and Innovation, said the the projects will create around 10,000 jobs, and the wind power infrastructure, the largest single project among them, would cost €1.7bn.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates promised earlier that the country was going to produce 45 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, up from 36 per cent in 2005, which will make it one of the largest users of renewable energy among the European Union’s 27 member states, matching levels of Austria and Sweden. Portugal also expects biofuel to account for ten per cent of the nation’s fuel use by 2010, ten years ahead of the EU target date.
Owing to its heavy dependence on imported energy, the European nation is boosting its wind, wave and solar power investment under Socrates, who came to power in 2005. Portugal is also exploring hydropower projects.