Spain's renewables share hits 50% in March

Wind turbines in Spain. Author: petter palander. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 2 (Renewables Now) - Renewables generated 50% of Spain’s electricity in March and 44.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the latest estimates provided by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE).

Spain has been under a stay-at-home lockdown since March 15 after a state of emergency had to be declared to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections. With a considerable number of residents at home and teleworking, the nation’s demand for electricity dropped by 4.6% year-on-year to 20,924 GWh in March.

Demand in the first quarter of 2020 declined by 3.1% to an estimated 65,695 GWh.

Among renewable energy technologies, the highest share in March belongs to wind power, which accounted for 26.8% of the national electricity production. Wind farms generated 5,640 GWh over the past month, which represented an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2019.

Details on Spain’s power mix are presented in the table below:

Technology: March share: Q1 share:
Wind 26.8% 22.7%
Hydro 15% 15.1%
Solar PV 5% 4.1%
Solar CSP 1.2% 0.9%
Nuclear 24.5% 23.9%
Cogeneration 10.6% 10.8%
Combined cycle 9% 13.5%
Coal 2.4% 3.4%

Electricity demand in the Spanish mainland dropped by 4.4% to 19,812 GWh in March. Figures for the first quarter show a 3.1% decrease in the peninsular demand to 62,195 GWh.

The renewables share in the mainland reached 51.7% in March. Wind power production was up by 14.9% year-on-year to 5,543 GWh, taking a share of 27.6%.

In the Balearic Islands, demand in March was estimated at 405,010 MWh, down by 7.3% year-on-year. In January through March, demand declined by 4.9% to 1,264,823 MWh.

The share of renewables and emission-free technologies in the Balearic system reached 6.7%. Combined cycle power plants were again the biggest electricity producers with a share of 77.1%, while coal-based technologies did not contribute a single MWh for three months in a row.

Demand for electricity plunged by 8.9% to 672,832 MWh in the Canary Islands in March. In the first quarter, demand came at 2,134,193 MWh, down by 1.8% year-on-year.

Renewables and emission-free technologies made up 16.4% of the Canary Islands’ power mix in March, with combined cycle power plants taking the lead with a 45.3%.

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About the author

Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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