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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