In 2021, a year still affected by COVID-19 pandemic impact, energy intensity of the economy (the relationship between net domestic energy use and gross domestic product – GDP) was 4.6 MJ/€, (-3.8% compared to 2020), corresponding to the lowest value in the available time series, after four consecutive years of decrease. This development reflects an increase of 1.7% in energy use, lower than the positive evolution of GDP in real terms (+5.7%).

The energy intensity of the household sector (ratio between net domestic energy use by households and private consumption at constant prices) followed the same trend, decreasing by 2.6%, as a result of an increase in the consumption of energy products by households (+2.0%) lower than the positive evolution of private consumption (+4.8%).

The production of electricity from renewable sources increased by 5.1%, mainly due to the higher use of solar energy (+20.0%), wood, wood waste and other solid biomass and charcoal (+10.8%) and wind (+7.5%). The share of renewable energy to electricity production was 52.9% (maximum in the period 2000-2021), resulting from the combined effect of the reduction in the use of fossil sources such as coal (-66.6%) and natural gas (-11.8%), with the increase in the use of renewable sources. The shutdown in 2021 of the last two coal-fired power plants in Portugal also contributed to this effect.

In 2020, last year with information available to the EU, Portugal was the Member State with the third lowest energy intensity in the economy.

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