The Águas de Portugal Group to go energy self-sustaining with 100% renewable power

The AdP – Águas de Portugal Group is now advancing with the implementation of an integrated program designed to reduce energy consumption and greatly boost its own production of 100% renewable energy in order to bring about energy neutrality in 2030.
Through the ZERO program, the AdP Group is positioned to become the first group with an international scale to obtain carbon energy neutrality across all of its national and international activities at the global level.

The AdP – Águas de Portugal Group today set out its ZERO Energy Neutrality Program at an event that counted on the participation of João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Inês dos Santos Costa, the Secretary of State for the Environment, and João Galamba, the Assistant Secretary of State and for Energy.

The ZERO Program foresees the AdP Group obtaining energy neutrality within a period of ten years based on a continued strategy of reduction in consumption and raising the Group’s own production of 100% renewable energy. This project shall also position the Group to become the first international scale business to attain energy neutrality across all its national and international operations at the global level.

The AdP Group is the largest public consumer of electricity in Portugal with grid consumption amounting to 725.1 GWh/year in 2019, just over 1.4% of all the electricity consumed in the country. With investment totalling around 370 million euros, this Program is forecast to neutralise the equivalent of 746 GWh – corresponding to the estimated energy consumption in 2030 – and achieving energy neutrality at a 105.3% rate and equivalent carbon neutrality.

The Program also involves achieving neutrality in terms of fuel consumption – 765 GWh -, with energy neutrality obtained at a level of 102.4%.

In environmental terms, this highlights how the Neutrality Program shall, in 2030, eliminate in the region of 205 thousand tons/year of CO2 emissions and returning savings to Portugal totalling around 5.3 million per year (at current prices).

The ZERO Program involves every AdP Group company, including the activities ongoing at the international level, integrating their own increases in the production of 100% renewable energy and making an 80% contribution towards energy neutrality.

This Program emerges in the wake of the EPAL 0% project that aims to enable energy and emissions neutrality in 2025, which is to be achieved through the construction of hydro-electric power plants within its water pipe system, wind and solar power and having already adjudicated the construction of the first hydro-electric power plant to leverage the energy generated by the water treated by the Asseiceira wastewater treatment plant, making the largest such facility in the country 100% energy self-sustainable.

100% renewable energy

The ZERO Program foresees the production of around 708 GWh/year through recourse to the endogenous resources available at Group company installations, specifically sourced from biogas, wind, hydro and solar power, including floating solar plants, and including:
  • As regards biogas, the forecast is for growth of 48.3 GWh/year (+ 163.2% on 2019);
  • Launching the production of wind power with the installation of 48 wind turbines with estimated production of 115.9 GWh/year;
  • Boosting the output of hydro-electricity achieved through the installation of 38 hydro power plants with a total capacity of 6.9 MW with estimated production achieving 45.0 GWh/year (against the 90.5 MWh produced in 2018);
  • In the case of solar power, this plans for exponential growth in production (from 4.1 GWh to around 478 GWh) with the installation of solar plants able to produce an average of 353 GWh/year in their first year of operation as well as the installation of floating solar panels on 25 reservoirs responsible for an average output of 125 GWh/year. The production of solar energy accounts for 70% of the total increase in energy production planned for by the ZERO Program.

Energy efficiency measures

Through these energy efficiency measures, the Group objective is to cut 35.6 GWh/year from the energy required for water supply (treatment and pumping of water for household consumption), corresponding to a reduction of 8.5% on current consumption. In the case of wastewater sanitation, the estimated savings rise to in excess of 13%, and a forecast cut of 37.8 GWh/year. The estimated investment required by these energy efficiency actions comes in at around 39.6 million euros and due for completion by the end of 2024.

The supply of water accounts for around 60% of total AdP Group energy consumption – 410.3 GWh/year in 2018 -, while wastewater sanitation treatment represents the remaining 40% of consumption and a total of around 284.0 GWh/year in 2018.

The ZERO Program also extends to actions targeting water losses and excess inflows that are to be undertaken by the municipal system management entities, whether in isolation or in conjunction with AdP Group companies.

When taking into account the actions under the auspices of the municipal system management entities, total ZERO Program investment amounts to 480 million euros, with an equivalent neutrality – the reduction in energy consumption, compensation for fuel consumption and the internal production of 100% renewable energy – of 117.1%.

29 of July of 2020