Wind power now Spain's top source of electricity as GHG's plummet

Wind power now Spain’s top source of electricity as GHG’s plummet

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Wind power now Spain's top source of electricity as GHG's plummet

Read this inspiring story from The Guardian on Spain’s dramatic increase of renewable energy and consequent 23% decline in energy-related carbon emissions.

Remarkable new figures from Spain’s grid operator have revealed that greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s power sector are likely to have fallen 23.1% last year, as power generation from wind farms and hydroelectric plants soared.

Red Eléctrica de España (REE) released a preliminary report on the country’s power system late last month, revealing that for “the first time ever, [wind power] contributed most to the annual electricity demand coverage”. According to the figures, wind turbines met 21.1% of electricity demand on the Spanish peninsular, narrowly beating the region’s fleet of nuclear reactors, which provided 21% of power.

In total, wind farms are estimated to have generated 53,926 gigawatt hours of electricity, up 12% on 2012, while high levels of rainfall meant hydroelectric power output was 16% higher than the historical average, climbing to 32,205GWh.

“Throughout 2013, the all-time highs of wind power production were exceeded,” the report stated. “On 6 February, wind power recorded a new maximum of instantaneous power with 17,056MW at 3:49 pm (2.5 per cent up on the previous record registered in April 2012), and that same day the all-time maximum for hourly energy was also exceeded reaching 16,918MWh. Similarly, in January, February, March and November wind power generation was the technology that made the largest contribution towards the total energy production of the system.”

An increase in wind power capacity of 173MW coupled with an increase in solar PV capacity of 140MW and solar thermal capacity of 300MW meant that by the end of the year renewables represented 49.1% of total installed power capacity on the Spanish peninsula.

In contrast, the preliminary figures show that power output from combined cycle gas plants fell 34.2% year-on-year, coal-fired plants saw generation fall 27.3%, and nuclear power output fell 8.3%.

The dramatic shift towards renewable generation coupled with a fall in overall power demand of 2.1% led to a similarly drastic reductions in emissions from the peninsular’s power sector. “The increased weight of renewable energy in the generation mix structure of 2013 compared to the previous year has reduced CO2 emissions of the electricity sector on the Spanish peninsula to 61.4 million tonnes, 23.1% lower than in 2012,” the report stated.

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4 thoughts on “Wind power now Spain’s top source of electricity as GHG’s plummet

  1. Been there, seen it and it is god-awful ugly. Miles of hillsides covered in them and solar farms. Not much life around or under them. Saving the planet my ass. More like another way to ruin it. Just my humble first hand opinion. And Obama has to pass special legislation to exempt the American wind industry from prosecution for killing hundreds of eagles. My idea is to surround the oil sands with windmills. If they shred a few thousand ducks before they get the chance to land on the tailings ponds, mission accomplished.

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