IN A week in which the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroess, said Brussels would consider taking action against countries refusing to encourage market competition, Portugal emerged as having one of the highest energy prices in the European Union.
The average consumer in Portugal pays 24 per cent more for his or her energy than other EU citizens, while businesses and industry is charged eight per cent more on average than the other 25 member states.
The average price per KW unit of electricity charged by monopoly EDP to domestic clients was 0.13 euros per kilowatt an hour in 2006, whereas the EU average stood at around 0.10 euros/kw/h.
According to information furnished by Brussels, only 11 per cent of consumers changed over to a competitive market, which in Portugal continues to be dominated by EDP. EDP holds a 49.6 per cent slice of the total market.
Between 1990 and 2004, energy production in Portugal increased by 45 per cent.
Imported oil continued to be used as the main source of electricity generation in the country. The good news was that water and renewable biomass energy accounted for 15 per cent of the country’s total power production – which was double the European Union average of six per cent from the other member states.
Brussels estimates that Portugal has, so far, failed overall in its objective of producing 39 per cent of its total electricity from renewable sources of energy by 2010.
When it came to burning less polluting bio fuel rather than fossil fuels like oil and coal, Portugal achieved only a half of the 1.15 per cent it should have achieved in 2005.
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