About REN



1. What is REN?

REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais is a listed public limited company operating in two main business areas: (i) transmission of extra high voltage electricity and overall technical management of the National Electricity System and (ii) high-pressure transport of natural gas, overall technical management of the National Natural Gas System, reception, storage and regasification of LNG and underground natural gas storage. It holds public service concessions for these activities. In 2017, REN acquired the second largest natural gas distribution network in Portugal, REN Portgás, which focuses its activity on the development and exploitation of the natural gas distribution network in the northern coastal region of Portugal.

2. What are REN's main obligations?

Under its contract with the state, REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais has the obligation to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity and natural gas to mainland Portugal, while meeting the criteria of cost, quality and safety established by the authorities.

3. Who are REN shareholders?

See REN's shareholder structure here.

4. When was REN founded?

In 1994, the unbundling of the sector resulted in REN (Rede Eléctrica Nacional). In 2000, the EDP Group was legally separated and REN became an independent company.

5. When did REN start having responsibilities in the natural gas sector?

In 2006, when acquired Galp the regulated natural gas assets.

6. How does REN fit in among its European counterparts?

REN is one of the best European energy transmission companies with above-average service quality indexes.

7. How are the transmission infrastructures planned?

REN has specific technical departments that, on the basis of a vast set of information (demand forecasts, plans for installing new power stations, etc) draft development plans that enable them to draw up timelines for needs for new infrastructures and facilities to guarantee an uninterrupted energy (electricity and natural gas) supply to the country.

8. Who approves new investments?

The plans for investment needed for the development of energy transmission and transport infrastructures (electricity and natural gas) must be approved by the competent authorities, Ministry of the Economy and Entidade Reguladora dos Serviços Energéticos (Regulator).

9. How are investments remunerated?

Approved investments are remunerated at a rate of return defined by law. The amount is incorporated in tariffs and paid by all consumers.

10. Who decides where lines and gas pipelines pass?

REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais identifies possible routes for lines and locations for infrastructures. Routes undergo environmental impact assessment and the most appropriate one is chosen. This process ends with the issue by the Ministry of the Environment of a binding environmental impact statement. Technical and administrative licensing is completed by Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia (Directorate-General for Energy and Geology).

11. Are alternatives studied?

All valid alternatives are studied during the environmental impact assessment.

12. Are local populations consulted?

The study process includes a public consultation organised by the environmental authority (Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente - APA) and all interested parties and local authorities involved are invited to participate.

13. Do all lines undergo environmental assessment procedures?

All transmission lines over 10 km must undergo environmental assessment and therefore a public consultation.

14. Can REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais build where it likes?

No. REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais can only build in corridors approved by Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente in an environmental impact assessment procedure and licensed by Direção Geral de Energia e Geologia. After a line has been licensed, an administrative right is granted to use the private property for public services infrastructure.

15. What are the main sources of electricity in Portugal?

The country's supply of electricity comes from thermoelectric power stations that use fossil fuels (basically coal and natural gas), hydroelectric plants, wind farms, co-generation power stations and photovoltaic energy. Learn more here.

16. Where does the natural gas used in Portugal come from?

16. Where does the natural gas used in Portugal come from?

17. Are the sources of electricity generation changing?

Portugal has set a goal of reducing its dependency on foreign energy and fossil fuels, which it does by increasing the use of renewable energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, photovoltaic and waves).

18 - How does this change impact on the development of the grids?

As new renewable energy sources are located all over the country, they require the installation of new transmission lines in remote areas.