EDP (Energias de Portugal), the country's largest utility, is on course to significantly increase its share of electricity generated from renewable sources, with CEO Miguel Stilwell announcing plans to exceed 90% by the next year. This surge comes as a result of the company's strategic decisions to close coal-fired power plants in Brazil and Spain.
In Portugal, EDP had already revealed its intention to divest 50% of its Abono unit, comprising two coal-fired plants, Abono I and Abono II, boasting a combined capacity of 904 megawatts. These plants are located near Gijón in the Asturias region of Spain.
As part of this environmentally-conscious strategy, EDP has sought authorization for the closure of Abono I and the remaining coal-fired facilities in Spain, namely Soto 3 and Los Barrios. Moreover, the company plans to transition Abono II into a gas-fired plant, with the transformation expected to be complete by mid-2025.
In a conversation with Reuters, Miguel Stilwell explained the pivotal developments. He stated, “EDP's electricity production, at a global level, will be clearly above 90% renewable – hydro, wind, or solar – already during 2024.” By September, renewable energy had already constituted 85% of the company's total electricity production.
Stilwell emphasized the company's commitment to sustainability, saying, “We are taking concrete steps, and we will further consolidate our position of being one of the greenest utilities in Europe in 2024.”
The plan for Abono II encompasses a full transformation into a natural gas plant, set to be operational in the latter half of 2025. Importantly, EDP intends to retain the existing workforce at this site. In addition to the plant's conversion, EDP has plans to install a 100 MW electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen in the future. The final investment decision regarding this hydrogen unit is slated for 2024, coinciding with a decision on a similar plant in Sines, Portugal.
EDP has set ambitious targets to become coal-free by the end of 2025 and to rely exclusively on renewable energy sources by 2030.