Spain to reach 50 percent renewable electricity generation in 2023
Spain is to hit a renewable energy milestone this year: 50 percent of the electricity generated in 2023 will be renewable, according to forecasts from the partly-state-owned national grid, Red Eléctrica (REE). In 2022, this figure was 42 percent.
According to REE President Beatriz Corredor’s report, if the forecasts are accurate, 2023 would be the first year that Spain has reached the 50 percent threshold. The early signs are positive: in January, the share of renewable energy generation was almost 60 percent. In February it dropped slightly, to around 45 percent, and so far in March it is above 50 percent.
Renewable energy generation not only produces lower emissions and less waste but also lower prices for consumers. The greater the share of water, sun and wind-generated electricity, the lower the overall price of the megawatt-hour (MWh) in the wholesale electricity market, the volatility of which Spaniards have been struggling with for the last couple of years, particularly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As a result, Spaniards have been faced with eye-wateringly high energy bills.
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“2023 will be a great year for the ecological transition in Spain and a transcendental year for us to consolidate our position as the European Union’s renewable energy engine,” Corredor said as she presented her forecasts on Thursday in Madrid.
Spain’s Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen added: “We must all take advantage of the great opportunity that the energy transition represents… It has an immense benefit for citizens and companies, but it has to be done intelligently.”
As of December 31st, 2022, the installed renewable power in Spain was almost 60 percent of the total, the second-largest in the EU after Germany. The discrepancy between that figure and the generation, which REE hopes will hit the 50 percent mark across the year, is due to the number of hours in which renewable generation is possible, that is to say, an absence of sun, wind or – to a lesser extent – water.
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Last year in Spain, renewables added 5.9 gigawatts (Gw) of newly installed power: 1.4 for wind and 4.5 for solar panels. In terms of solar generation, Spain is third in the EU, following Germany and the Netherlands.
Wind turbines already account for one in four gigawatts of installed power in Spain, and solar installations were the third largest source of electrical energy.