New Policy for the Energy Sector

In Portugal, electricity generation is a free activity, solely subject to a prior generation license in order to ensure all the technical and safety conditions to start operating are met.

As a result of many European Union directives, many changes and improvements have been introduced in Portuguese legislation and regulation. There has been currently set out the Portuguese government’s policy for the energy sector is set out in the National Plan of Action for Energy Efficiency 2013–2016 (PNAEE 2016) and in the National Plan of Action for Renewable Energies 2013–2020 (PNAER 2020), both approved by Ministers’ Council Resolution No. 20/2013 of 10 April.

The installation of a generation unit (UP), which may take the form of a generation unit for self-consumption (UPAC) or a small generation unit (UPP), is generally subject to prior registry and to the issuance of a certificate issued by the national regulatory authority, the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE).

Decree-Law 153/2014 repealed the legal regimes the ruled mini and micro-generation of electricity (Decree-Law 34/2011 and Decree-Law 363/2007). Both regimes have been merged into a single legal framework, since last January 2015.

According to the current regime, to enter into operation, the potential producer must:

  • Submit a request to the electronic registration system (SERUP);
  • Once the generation unit has been registered, the producer must install it using an authorised installation entity;
  • After installation, the producer must submit a request for inspection of the unit;
  • If the inspection report concludes that the unit has no defects or irregularities, the operation certificate will be issued and the unit will be definitively registered.

Different rules are applied, depending if the generation unit (UP) takes the form of a generation unit for self-consumption (UPAC) or a small generation unit (UPP). Energy market rules and regulation establish the following:



until 200W = prior control exemption. The connection capacity that may be attributed each year to UPPs cannot exceed 20MW (according to the programme annually established by the Director general for energy and geology).
between 200 watts (W) and 1.5kW, or whose electrical usage installation is not connected to the public energy grid = require only prior notification before commencing operation. UPP owners may negotiate power purchase agreements with the last recourse supplier to sell the electricity generated by them.
until 1.5kW and whose owner intends to supply the electricity which is not consumed in the electrical usage installation (which may or may not be party to an electricity supply contract with a supplier) = subject to prior registration and operational certification. Remuneration of electricity generated by UPPs is calculated through a bidding system
+ 1 megawatt (MW) = require the relevant licences for installation and operation The request for granting a license should be addressed to the Directorate General for Energy and Geology through SERUP and the unit is not subject to registration. The directorate general’s receipt of this notification institutes adequate title to initiate the activity The remuneration tariff will vary according to the primary energy used and will be determined by applying different percentages contained in Ministerial Order no. 15/2015.
The application of the remuneration tariff is limited to 2.6 MWh per year for all generation technologies except hydropower (the limit for which is 5 MWh per year), and this tariff will remain in force for 15 years following the date on which the producer started to supply electricity to the public energy grid.


The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.