Renewable energy in Spain
Renewable energy in Spain represented 42.8% of total electricity generation in 2014. Overall 27.4% of Spain's electricity was generated from wind and solar in 2014. Spain has set the target of generating 45% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources. Spain has a very large wind power capability built up over many years, solar power produced less than a third of that of wind power in 2015.
In the first half of 2013 the renewable energy sector in Spain underwent a major restructuring that will make the official targets very hard to meet.  Following the 2008 financial crisis Spain cut back drastically on its investment in renewable energy sources and new installations of wind and solar power sources all but stagnated between 2012 and 2015.
Then in 2015 solar power suddenly demonstrated a possible way through the impasse. The continued fall in prices for solar systems and Spain's abundant sunshine lead to prices for solar power to reach grid price parity. Suddenly there was the potential for sustained and spontaneous growth in solar installations in Spain as households and producers could produce power more economically. However the Spanish government introduced what has been dubbed the worlds first "sun tax" on solar installations making them economically less viable as well as draconian fines (up to 60 million Euros) for anyone not complying with the tax.
The tax has proved highly controversial. On the one hand the government has argued that those generating their own power still rely on the national grid for power backup and so should be liable for contributing to the cost. On the other hand, the solar industry has argued that the government is simply trying to protect the centralised established power producers who's revenues would be threatened by this competiitve solar threat. Environmentalists have criticised the tax for artificially blocking Spain from continuing its long standing movement to renewable energy production.
Whatever the merits of both arguments, the controversy can only become more heightened as the price of solar energy continues to fall and if PV solar power installed capacity in Spain were to continue sliding down the EU league from 12th position in 2014 (102.9 kW per 1000 inhabitants). In the same year in terms of wind energy production Spain was much stronger in 3rd position (495 kW per1000 inhabitants).
Percentage of total National Electricity Demand Coverage by component renewable sources, Spain 2015
Wind power provided the largest share at 19.1% followed by hydroelectric power at 11.1%. Solar power provided 5.2% and renewable thermal a further 2%. The total electicity supplied (demand coverage) from renewables was 37.4% of Spain's requirements in 2015.
Percentage electricity generation by renewables:
Sharp variation from one year to the next is largely due to the substantial differences in hydroelectric production from one year to the next. Excluding hydroelectric production electricity generation from renewable energy sources grew from around 10 percent in 2006 to 26.3 percent of demand coverage in 2015. Most of the growth occured in the years leading up to 2012 with little change in baseline capacity between 2012 and 2015. Renewable energy generated electricity had a record year in 2014 when it supplied 42.8% of Spain's national demand.
Installed capacity MW:
In 2014 Spain was the world's fourth biggest producer of wind power. In that year, the year-end installed capacity was 23 GW and the annual production was 51,439 GWh, a share of total electricity consumption of 21.1%. Installed capacity grew from around 0.8GW in 1998 to approximately 23 GW by 2012.
GW/h annual production:
Annual electricity generation from hydroelectric sources varies considerably from year to year. A rough calculation shows that the contribution to total net generation varied approximately between 9-17 percent annually. This variation helps explain the fluctuating annual figures for total renewable energy in Spain. Production in 2012 was a little over half that of 2010 at just 24,100 gW/h.
|Solar PV MW||125||637||3,353||3,398||3,838||4,259||4,560||4,649||4,646||4,667|
|Solar Thermal MW||11||11||61||232||532||999||1,950||2,300||2,300||2,300|
Growth in installed capacity:
In 2005 Spain became the first country in Europe to require the installation of photovoltaic electricity generation in new buildings, and the second in the world (after Israel) to require the installation of solar hot water systems. With the construction of the PS10, located near Seville, Spain became the first country to ever have a commercial solar energy power tower. In recent years there has been much controversy over a tax on PV power generation as the cost of PV solar installations has reached grid parity in Spain according to several sources. Solar power first began to be installed significantly in 2006 with 136 MW installed capacity before rising rapidly to 6,949 MW by 2013. Little change has occurred in installed capacity between 2013 and 2015.
Growth in installed capacity:
Renewable thermal installed capacity grew from 574 MW in 2006 to 989 MW by 2014.
Production by source and Autonomous Community:
|Autonomous Community||Hydroelectric power||Wind power||Solar power||Biomass power||Solid waste power||Total Renewable Generation||Total Electricity Demand||% Renewable of Total Electricity Demand|
|Castile and León||6960||3840||14||274||87||11175||15793||70.8%|
|Ceuta & Melilla||0||0||0||0||2||2||391||0.5%|
- Iberdrola Renovables
- Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (IDAE)
- Renewable energy in the European Union
- Spanish Electric Report 2014 (ES)
- "Further Spanish Energy Reform Could Mean". renewableenergyworld.com.
- Preliminary Report 2015, Red Electrica Espana Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name ":12" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Corporate Responsibility Report 2009, p91, Red Eléctrica Corporación
- Preliminary Report 2013, p12, Red Eléctrica de España
- Corporate Responsibility Report 2014, p61, Red Eléctrica de España
- Annual Report 2007, Red Electrica de Espana, figure for wind power only, excudes very small contribution from other sources.
- Based on sources listed in the page: Wind power in the European Union
- The Spanish Electricity System Preliminary Report 2014 (PDF), Red Eléctrica de España (REE), 2014
- The Spanish electricity system 2014,p33, Red Electric de Espana
- Red Electrica de Espana, Publications, National indicators, Installed power capacity http://www.ree.es/en/publications/statistical-data-of-spanish-electrical-system/national-indicators/national-indicators
- REN21: Renewables Global Status Report - Update 2006
- "beyondfossilfuel.com". beyondfossilfuel.com.
- Red Eléctrica de España Annual Report 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Renewable energy in Spain.|
- Renewables 2050. A report on the potential for renewable energies in peninsular Spain (Green Peace).
- Renewable Energy in Spain: Details on the Government's New feed-in tariff (FIT) Regulation
- ISTAS analysis of the flawed Calzada report. In Spanish.
- Spain Rejects Calzada "Spanish Jobs" Study. - NRDC summary of the response of the Spanish government and ISTAS to the Calzada report.
- US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Response to the Report Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources from King Juan Carlos University (Spain), authors Eric Lantz and Suzanne Tegen, White Paper NREL/TP-6A2-46261, August 2009