The Pivotal Role of Electricity in the Deep Decarbonization of Energy Systems: Cost-Effective Options for Portugal

  • Júlia Seixas
  • Sofia G. Simoes
  • Patrícia Fortes
  • João Pedro Gouveia
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 64)


This chapter explores the impacts on energy systems of deep decarbonization in Portugal up to 2050. The technological bottom-up model TIMES_PT is used to generate three families of scenarios; a reference case, three deep decarbonization scenarios and three electrification scenarios. Results show that the electrification of the final energy consumption of the Portuguese economy contributes significantly towards decarbonization, but that this is not a linear relationship. Electrification is not always the synonym of renewable power, although it is cost-effective to deploy renewable power plants up to the maximum endogenous potentials of onshore wind and hydro. Electrification is achieved by significant deployment of renewable electricity generation, mainly solar photovoltaic and offshore wind, as well as concentrated solar power (to a lesser extent). The end use technologies that contribute the most to the electrification of the Portuguese economy are electric vehicles, heat pumps (both in residential and commercial buildings) and dryers and kilns in some industrial sectors. Investment costs will be the cost component with the highest growth in share of total costs over the modelled period, from around 36% of total costs in 2015 up to almost 60% in 2050 for the most stringent greenhouse gas mitigation scenario, while fuel costs substantially decline. The current energy and climate national policies do not consider any of these specific low carbon energy technologies, nor the major investments that will be required. Such aspects need to be specifically addressed in the Portugal Carbon Neutrality Roadmap studies that have recently started.



This work is part of a project funded by EDP—Energias de Portugal, S.A. The content of this work, however, is of the sole responsibility of its authors and it should in no way be viewed as reflecting any views or opinions on the part from EDP-Energias de Portugal. The authors want to thank the collaboration and fruitful discussions with Ana Quelhas and Andreia Severiano from EDP.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Júlia Seixas
    • 1
  • Sofia G. Simoes
    • 1
  • Patrícia Fortes
    • 1
  • João Pedro Gouveia
    • 1
  1. 1.CENSE—”Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, NOVA School of Science and TechnologyNOVA University LisbonCaparicaPortugal

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