Angela Merkel encourages Portugal to “invest more” in solar energy

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s official weekly podcast on Saturday came as a welcome ray of sunshine for Portugal’s campaigners fighting government plans for oil and gas exploration.

As Público explains, she “dedicated part of her talk to solar energy in Spain and Portugal”, encouraging both countries to invest more into the sector, and saying that a future in which Europe shared energy depended on links across the Pyrenees being improved.

“The connection between France and the Iberian Peninsula is an enormous problem”, she said, while Portugal and Spain are “naturally two countries in which solar energy could be expanded”.

Merkel is looking forwards to 2022, says Público – the year in which Germany plans to shut down its last nuclear power plants.

Taking up the slack will be new concentration on solar and wind energy.

These are precisely the areas that campaigners in Portugal are trying to push – adamant that the future is in renewables.

As Público explains, the ‘grand European plan’ involves energy crossing borders, but for this to work, the “power bottleneck” posed by poor connections across the Pyrenees has to be overcome.

A year ago, Spain and France agreed on a new link which promises to double the two countries’ ‘interconnectivity’. Before this, there had not been any investment in new interconnections since 1982, adds Reuters.

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