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Renewable energy companies secure investment in Portugal despite the reputational costs of the political crisis

Renewable energy companies secure investment in Portugal despite the reputational costs of the political crisis

The political crisis has had repercussions abroad, but the heads of several multinational companies are ensuring their commitment to Portugal.

Many renewable energy giants are ensuring they continue to invest in Portugal despite the political crisis in the country, which will have to hold early elections on March 10, after the Prime Minister resigned in the wake of the Influencer case.

The officials participated in a panel discussion during the annual conference of the Portuguese Association for Renewable Energy (APREN) held in Lisbon this week.

“We are present in nine countries, and Portugal is one of the most attractive countries where we are located, and it has a very favorable outlook for investment,” said Rui Maia, of British company Vintent Energy. “Nothing has changed regarding our investments in Portugal.”

The director said that the company has “financial and investment availability: Portugal is one of the countries where we will continue to grow.”

Regarding the country, he also said that the “cost of developing” projects in Portugal is “lower compared to others” where his company is based.

Pedro Norton of Finerge (mainly Australian-owned First State Investments) ensures that “the fundamentals remain unchanged” for his company when it comes to investing in Portugal.

Given the energy crisis that struck the European Union after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, he highlighted that it had proven that “renewable energies are the solution to guarantee prices on the wholesale market and secure supply.”

Regarding the development of projects, he pointed out that “it is true that the capital cost has increased, but that does not mean that the path will not continue.”

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Regarding the issue of the political crisis, he said it was a “hiccup”, but admitted to fearing “some entropy in the decision-making process in public administration”, hoping that the DGEG director would keep the machine running, referring to JE News where Geronimo Mira Cunha reassured investors, promising Continuing the project license.

“This will not be the case for shareholders, but I admit that there are foreign investors who are concerned and want to see a political clarification. This has had reputational costs,” Pedro Norton said, with APREN leader Pedro Amaral agreeing on part of the country’s reputational costs.

“These are incidents along the way, but I still see the core incidents,” the Finerge commander said.

In turn, Georgios Papadimitriou from Galeb believes that “the basics are in place,” considering that the country was “very stable,” and that it possessed “all the resources” such as wind and solar energy. “Green electrons are very important. We have a series of projects in Portugal, and we want to increase the production of green electricity,” he said, stressing that he wants to hybridize wind and solar projects. “Portugal is in the right place. “This is where we want to be and we want to do more.”

For its part, the Spanish company Iberdrola believes that Portugal is “going through a good moment,” and that the country is “convinced of this decarbonization and energy independence.”

“Portugal is the place to invest now,” declared David Rivera, Iberdrola’s new Portugal director, as JE revealed this week, highlighting opportunities in offshore wind and green hydrogen.

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“Iberdrola’s investment in Portugal is significant. We are convinced of the regulatory stability and there are possibilities to move forward. Despite all the challenges, there are possibilities.”

Alvaro Brandão Pinto of Generg/Total Energies, who was also present at the panel, warned that investment “in new renewable energy projects in the near future” “depends on the perception of economic profitability.”

He cited several factors affecting this perception, including “the significant increase in investment values ​​for each megawatt hour produced.” “The lack of specification of electricity market frameworks”; “large fluctuations in electricity sales prices, making it difficult to guarantee stable contracts for longer periods”; “The contradictions that may exist between the renewable production capacity that can be installed and consumption levels,” pointing to “the gap between energy and technologies that concentrate its production at certain times.” “The potential for worsening power delivery conditions due to a lack of grid capacity”; “Project financing conditions worsen” due to high interest rates.

In conclusion, the President of APREN said that “there is still a perception that it is worth investing in Portugal.”