Renewable energy resources produced 30% of the electricity consumed in Spain in February 2009, a goal set in 2001 by the EU to be reached by 2010 and which seemed impossible just one year ago. This is according to data from the Electric Network reported this week by Spanish Newspaper El Pais.
In 2008 in Spain, wind and hydroelectric energy generated 18% of Spain’s electricity, compared to 10% in the United States and 5% in Great Britain.
Among the factors that led to an increase in the use of clean energy is a reduction in electricity demand due to the economic crisis, allowing the capacity of the wind sector to increase during the past decade, and increasing rain, which has led to a 126.4% increase in hydroelectric power between January and March compared to the same period in 2008.
In February, wind energy totaled 15.8% of total consumption, and hydroelectric totaled 15.6%. According to sources from the Electric Network, this percentage should be maintained throughout the spring if it continues to rain, although a slight reduction is predicted for the summer.
It is also necessary to add photovoltaic energy – whose contribution is beginning to be substantial – to these totals, since during the summer on the sunniest days solar energy can reach 5%, according to calculations from Heikki Mesa, the head of climate change at WWF Spain.
But much Clean energy is lost due to overloads, since the electric grid has a control system which constantly monitors production and orders windmills to be deactivated if necessary. This occurred on November 2 2008 when during a violent storm, the Electric Network deactivated 37% of windmills since the grid was not able to absorb all of the energy that was being produced.