*More information on specific geothermal power plants can be found HERE.

Plans for geothermal power

Year Projected capacity(MWe)
2020 30
2025 30
2030 60

(Portugal, 2019)

Direct use

Year 2011 2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018 2019

Geothermal direct use consumption(toe)
*District Heating, Greenhouse heating, bathing and swimming pool heating

 1555 1555  1555  1303  1517  1363  1545  1742 1721

(Source: DGEG/DSRHG – Geothermal statistics series 2011-2019)

*Additional information on direct use can be found HERE

Geothermal Institutions

Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) - DGEG is the Portuguese Public Administration. The DGEGs mission is to contribute to the design, promotion and evaluation of policies relating to energy and geological resources, in terms of sustainable development and ensuring security of supply.

National Laboratory for Energy and Geology (LNEG) - It is an institution that conducts research on energy and geological resources and aims to promote their application in Portugal.

Portuguese Geologists Association (APG) - The association represents the profession of Geologist with public and private authorities.

Geothermal Projects/Programs

Geothermal Energy Development Fund - A USD 2.4 million initiative launched in 2018 by the Innovation Support Fund (FAI) to promote the development of low enthalpy geothermal resources in Portugal through:

  • assessment of the geothermal potential of natural mineral waters with a temperature above 250C;
  • enhanced resource exploration and connection to district heating networks.

*Shallow Geothermal District Heating application in Mainland Portugal

  • Case 1: University of Aveiro (Systems for Heating/ Cooling and DHW)

A strategy to achieve nearly zero energy buildings was followed by U. Aveiro in RD&DT activity supported by FCT - The National Science Foundation, using shallow geothermal systems in its Department’s buildings which account for 4 450 m2 of gross area (ground floor and two elevated floors) with 134 kWh heating and 152 kWh cooling needs on an annual basis. Assisted by thermal comfort and energy assessments, empirical results show that the use of shallow geothermal systems should be highly incentivised not just for the University departments buildings but for similar building types of Aveiro region. In general, the thermal results show that the use of the geothermal system for heating, has the potential to increase thermal comfort in approx. 50% associated to low level of energy consumption of 13 kWh/m2 in average, for the winter season.

  • Case 2: Ombria Resort in Loulé-Algarve (Systems for Heating/ Cooling and DHW)

Ombria Resort Hotel (144 ha) aims at offering excellency in energy efficiency and environment quality, so a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) strategy was followed using a shallow geothermal system. The space to be climatized includes a Golf club, a Hotel, a SPA and several Villas (total climatized area: 13,975 m2). Heating needs of 3,303.1 MWh/ year, including pool heating, of which ca 92% are met by the geothermal system. Cooling needs of 1,756.2 MWh/ year, which are to be 100% met by the geothermal system. Satisfaction of 69% of the DHW needs, estimated at 895 MWh/year, corresponding to a consumption of 19,242.8 m3/year. The remaining need for DHW are to be met by a direct flow vacuum tube type solar thermal system.

*International Cooperation – EU geothermal energy projects where DGEG is a partner

Project H2020 GEOTHERMICA ERA-Net - GEOTHERMICA aims to develop geothermal energy and its integration within energy systems. It has a main focus on three technological goals covering all stages of the development cycle of a secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable geothermal installation: a) The identification and assessment of geothermal resources suitable for direct use and power generation; b) The geothermal resource development (drilling, completion, materials and equipment); c) The supply and smart integration into the energy system and related operations. In addition, cross-cutting thematic issues are also under focus: sustainability, knowledge sharing, public perception, as well as evidence-based policy formulation.

Project H2020 "SU-DG-IWG - Support Unit for the Deep Geothermal Implementation Working Group" (2019-2021) - It has the aim to boost mobilization of the European R&I community in geothermal energy in order to operationalize the Implementation Plan within the EU SET-Plan.

Legal and Regulatory Framework

  • Lei n.° 54/2015, of 22 June, regulates the exploitation of geological resources;
  • Decree-Law No. 87/90, of 16 March, regulating the exploitation of geothermal resources;
  • Proposed decree-law to regulate geothermal heat pumps.

Electricity production under a special regime, within the scope of paragraph 1 of article 18 of Decree-Law no. 29/2006, of February 15, amended and republished by Decree-Law no. 215-A/2012, of 8 October, is regulated by Chapter III of Decree-Law no. 172/2006, of 23 August, amended and republished by Decree‑Law no. 215-B/2012, of 8 October (DL 172/2006).