Clean Power spain wind energy

Published on August 15th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha


38% Of Spain’s July Electricity Demand Was Met By Wind and Solar Power

August 15th, 2014 by  

spain wind energy

Solar and wind energy sector has a bumper output in Spain last month as the two technologies fulfilled more than a third of the country’s total electricity demand.

Low-carbon electricity sources generated more than 55% of the electricity consumed in Spain last month as power generated from wind energy increased substantially. Almost 30% of the total electricity consumed last month was generated by wind energy projects, while about 4% each was generated by solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power projects. Electricity generated from nuclear power projects constituted about 18% of the country’s total demand.

July’s share of wind and solar power technologies was significantly higher than their respective share in power generated during the first six months of the year. Between January and July 2014, the share of wind energy was about 22% while that of solar PV was 3.3%.

The wind energy sector has been consistently increasing its share in Spain power generation sector. In 2013 wind energy had the highest share among all technologies in the country’s generation mix. Wind energy projects supplied 21.1% of all electricity consumed in Spain, followed by nuclear power projects which had a share of 21%. During January, February, March and November, wind energy had the highest share in the generation mix.

Renewable energy technologies – wind, solar PV, and solar thermal – represented 49% of the total power generation capacity added in 2013. Generation from coal, natural gas-based power plants, as well as nuclear power generation fell in 2013. Portugal also reported that 70% of the electricity consumed in 2013 was generated by renewable energy sources.

As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector in the Spanish peninsula fell 23.1% to 61.4 million tonnes of CO2e.

Spain has paid €56 billion in subsidies to renewable energy projects since 1998. These projects will receive an additional €142 billion over their lifetimes. The Spanish government intends to restrict the subsidies to renewable energy projects through a bill approved recently. As per the new rules, existing renewable energy projects will be able to earn 7.5% rate of return over their lifetimes.

Image Credit: Wind turbines in Spain via Shutterstock

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

  • jordisala

    Here in Spain we don’t deserve any compliments.

    We are in shame as here the state and the 3 major utilities are ruling against renewable energies.

    They even menace us with fines if we install solar panels in our house:

    • Bob_Wallace

      What’s the public opinion on all this? Are voters upset or not paying attention?

  • wattleberry

    Consumption has fallen to a crawl, with people afraid to switch on their AC and stew instead, because of the prohibitive cost of power which in turn is justified by the Minister as ‘Someone has to pay’ for the huge overcapacity built into the system!
    Cuckoo’s Nest, anyone?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Wanting to better understand the Spanish situation I googled around and found this –

      “The story of how Spain acquired its tariff deficit is less than edifying. In 2002, the then-economy minister, Rodrigo Rato, decided electricity costs should not rise by more than two percent a year, even though production costs were higher. The reasons for this approach were varied: to keep inflation low, electioneering, and the need to improve Spain’s industrial competitiveness.

      The solution was meant to be a temporary one, but subsequent governments lacked the political will to explain to voters that they needed to pay more for their electricity. And so for a decade, Spanish consumers were living a lie. Industry and consumers were happy, and the electricity companies could scarcely keep up with demand.

      The deficit was bearable until 2005 when production costs suddenly soared in the wake of the invasion of Iraq. Matters worsened in 2008 with new premiums on renewables. Various approaches are being tried to repay the debt. The latest has been to issue debt packages on the stock markets. The electricity companies have already been paid, and now it is up to Spaniards to pay the international investment banks who own the debt.”

      This is an interesting article that explains much about Spain’s problem with electricity cost. It’s complex, it comes from poor planning. And it is made up of much more than overbuilding of renewables.

      . “I agree that things got out of control in the solar sector,” says Jorge Morales, who owns a plant producing solar energy. “But that is just one line in a book filled with idiocies and scandals.”

      • JamesWimberley

        Rodrigo Rato’s trail of disaster continued with his stewardship of the large Bankia bank, which went bust in 2012 needing a taxpayer bailout of €19 billion.

  • JamesWimberley
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