It's no accident that I'm overseas on America's Independence Day. And maybe it's no surprise either that the first tones of Portugal I've taken in on this trip are ones of energy freedom.
"New enterprise, generated by nature..."
So far my Brazilian-accented Portuguese has drawn some strange looks from police officers and shopkeepers as I ask for directions or coffee, but when I read this sign for the national power company's new renewables division this morning, I only had to kick it around in my own noggin to understand.
The new slogan for Energias de Portugal, which trades over the counter in the U.S. as EDPFY, not only exemplifies the transitional energy economy moving Europe from fossil fuels to clean power sources...
It also represents a fresh Age of Exploration in a country that was once one of the most powerful and adventurous empires in the world.
Along with Spain, Portugal is part of a 21st-century Iberian revival that mixes European Union green energy goals with the desire to stand out as individual national economies.
We're seeing that phenomenon kick into high gear in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Scotland, and here in warmer climes too.
Spain's Iberdrola Energy (MADRID:IBE) launched its own Iberdrola Renovables (Renewables) as a separate listing on the Madrid Stock Exchange in 2007. Most of Iberdrola's renewable might comes from the stiff Spanish breeze. Tiny towns and big cities in Europe's southwestern reaches are now getting electricity from wind turbines, and selling their surplus to the grid.
Now EDP is using its own country's strength in wind, hydroelectric power, and the world's largest wave energy array, Pelamis, to chart its course forward.
But here's the interesting thing...
Energias de Portugal Renovables will be based in Spain, because Chairman Antonio Mexia knows the larger Iberian market can be cooperative and competitive at the same time, building a critical mass of companies and generation capacity that will benefit everyone.
After all, EDP has nearly 500 megawatts worth of new capacity in Spain planned for construction in the near term, helping it towards the goal of 10,500 MW worldwide just four years from now.
And you can tap that momentum with EDP Renewables' forthcoming stock listing here in Lisbon, which we anticipate will be highly successful.
Rest assured, we'll keep you up to date on EDP and the entire Iberian clean energy scene with Green Chip Review and Green Chip International.