Clean Power

Published on May 8th, 2013 | by Adam Johnston


54% Of Spain’s Electricity Generation In April From Renewables

May 8th, 2013 by  

Spanish Electricity generation from renewables in April set a new record, beating March’s previous record.

PV Magazine notes renewables accounted for 54% of the country’s electricity generation in April, outpacing last month’s total of 51.8%.

Wind turbines in Andalusia, Spain via Shutterstock

Image Credit: Wind turbines in Andalusia, Spain via Shutterstock

Spanish hydropower made up 25% of April’s overall electricity generation. Meanwhile, wind power was second with 22%. Solar photovoltaic energy provided 3.6%, and solar thermal energy had 1.3%, based on Red Electrica De Espana (REE) data.

While it’s still only the month of May, if the current pattern continues to hold, electricity demand coming from renewable sources may very well surpass recent years in the country.

In 2006, renewable energy in Spain accounted for 19% of the electricity generated. In seven years, those numbers have grown, reaching a peak of 35% in 2010, while keeping steady around the 33%-32% mark in 2011 and 2012.

Gazing ahead, with Spain marching towards a sustainable energy mix, wind and solar will need to lead the way. Last year, wind power provided 18.2% of Spain’s energy, while solar photovoltaic 3.0% and solar thermal 1.3% of total demand, according to REE.

Last February, wind power set a record for being the number one energy in the country’s energy mix, with 6 terawatt-hours (TWh) in January. Spain is targeting wind energy to supply 40% of the electricity consumption by 2020. Meanwhile, solar energy in Spain has lots of further potential. For example, Extremadura in western Spain, which is blessed with 3,200 hours of sunshine annually, recently announced a new 250 MW unsubsidized solar plant. Once built, the project is expected to be the third largest solar PV plant in the world, at a cost of €270 million.

Analysts may very well look back at 2013 in Spain as the year where renewable energy consistently supplied the nation with over half of its energy. That’s something to get excited about within the cleantech and environmental community.

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

  • Solar, Wind, Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Biological domestic energy cannot be “valued” in “Dollars” – none are attached to the criminal Bankster/Gangsters that control oil and enriched uranium. Chinese Thorium fissioning technologies will “Alter Global Energy Maps Forever” and debuts in 2017.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We’ll see, Bruce.

      Nuclear keeps on promising to be too cheap to meter. Who knows, maybe someday it might be.

      Until then the smart move would be to assume it won’t and get on building out the stuff that’s affordable.

  • tibi stibi

    this site should be added:

    watch to see what happens with windpower over time. and hydro to backup and even store energy from wind.

  • 270 million EUR for a 250MWp plant? That sounds like an extremely good installation price.

    That is close to 1 EUR / Wp.

    • Bob_Wallace

      $329 million in the world’s favorite money. $1.32/watt.

      I’m getting the feeling that people are soon going to be talking about a BOS price breakthrough. In the last couple of days I’ve heard about a $1.40/watt system just installed in the UK and another system planned in that price range.

      If so, we’re well under the 10 cents/kWh threshold and heading toward a US nickel. Sell your coal and nuclear stocks, there’s a bloodbath coming….

      • arne-nl

        My latest solar system that I added to my house in March (DIY installation) was exactly € 1 per W (excl VAT).

        • Ross

          How about doing an article for with the details?

      • Saudis are going Solar – tell you anything? Super insulation – lessening heating and cooling loads have been suppressed by the corpocracy – Have you seen the documentary “Who Stole The Electric Car”? my Question: What damage has been done in this way that we are not aware of? one answer: super-insulation hidden. many more hidden.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Tells me that the Saudis probably have a bunch of cash and they’re willing to take a chance on nuclear. Saudi Arabia is kind of like China, cash rich and not that concerned about what their citizens think.

          The Saudis are also investing in a bunch of solar. Just in case you hadn’t heard.

  • hi

    Last paragraph, you mean electricity, NOT energy.

  • Steeple

    I suspect that Spaniards would rather have some of that $ back so that they wouldn’t be bankrupt

    • Jeff

      The payback on renewable only gets better with time. They are getting their money back now.

      • James Wimberley

        Sadly, I have to agree with Steeple. Spain killed the subsidies to new renewables when the crisis hit. So taxpayers are stuck with the FIT subsidies promised when cost see high, without the prospect of offsetting them from low-cost new capacity, as in Germany. It really is a poster case how not to manage the energy transition.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Be careful about agreeing with Steeple. He’s trying to imply that renewables had something to do with Spain’s financial markets which is a right-wing myth they try to push.

          • Ronald Brak

            I thought Steeple was socialist since he seemed so concerned about the fate of the mostly government owned EDF.

  • Sam

    That a very poor level for solar power given hydropower power was 25%, what happen when the water runs out? Solar power cannot pick up the base load losses from hydro.

    Climate change prevents the rain water occurring to which make hydropower work. It said the USA is the one of the biggest polluter in the world which used oil and gas furnaces to heat there home in the winter causing large amount of Co2 emission leading to Climate Change which has effect on the worlds whether according to scientists.

    • Ross

      It is too simplistic to say there’ll be less rainfall due to climate change. Warming temperatures will increase the amount of water in the atmosphere globally.

      The level of Spanish rainfall is believed to be mainly influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation. It is predicted that due to global warming there will be a reduction in hydropower in Spain but the water is not going to run out.

      Most of Northern Europe is expected to get increased hydro from climate change. The amount of solar Spain will get will go up.

      Replacing the baseload power with renewables and storage will not be a problem.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Solar and other renewables can very well replace “base load”. If hydro becomes less of a player then we’ll need to add storage or some other form of dispatchable generation to fill in.

      It’s not just that some areas are likely to become more arid. As large or larger problem is that in many areas the annual rainfall amount and pattern is going to become much more variable. A year or years of droughts could be followed by a year or years of floods. We may already see that happening in the center of the US. (It will take a number of years to confirm.)

      This is extremely bad news for all thermal plants which need water for cooling.

      We’re seeing nuclear plants closing in the US and Europe during heat waves because they don’t have ample supplies of cooling water. China has canceled plans to build new nuclear plants in the interior of their country where cooling water is an issue.

      • China’s newest fission designs do not need water for cooling!

        • Bob_Wallace

          You can build thermal plants with air cooling. They’re just more expensive, much more noisy, and bigger eyesores.

          That makes them even less likely to be built where they would have to compete on a price basis. And it would make them even harder to site than a water-cooled plant.

    • In a couple of years solar and wind will not need hydro to back them up since other grid-scale storage solutions wil completely eliminate the need for pumped hydro. See EOS Energy and GE Durathon for two promising candidates.

  • jlmur

    No wonder the western powers that be want to punish Spain.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Right. Western powers want to punish Spain.

      And the Moon is made of green cheese.

      • arne-nl

        And NASA never went there. So how do we know?

        • Bob_Wallace

          We know.

          Some of us, a select few, know the real truth.

          (You can identify us by our millinery. It’s shiny.)

          • arne-nl

            You made me google ‘millinery’. Never heard that word before. Thanks for the lesson.

        • jlmur

          And Gingrich wouldn’t use the Volt because “You can’t fit a gun rack in it.”

      • Western “Powers” the old mythology! U.S.A. largest debtor nation on earth – in all history.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Well, thank you, Bruce.

          I had no idea we owed anyone anything.

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