Renewable energy sources are boosting their production and pushing Spain to a new stage of green records

Spain made history last year by being able to produce more than half of its electricity using solar installations for the first time. Renewable energyExceeding the sum of nuclear power plants, gas plants and coal plants. The massive deployment of new renewable energy plants in recent years has already caused a shock to the country’s electricity generation, and the energy sector expects that the increase in production and the growing weight of green plants are already opening a new era of almost continuous growth and new records.

Las Renewable plants Of the Spanish electricity sector, a total of 13,152 gigawatt-hours were produced in February, The launch of the green generation increased by 33% compared to last year, the focus 59.55% of the total electricity generated in the country It accumulates for the first time in four consecutive months, with more than half of the production being of renewable origin, according to records Spanish Electrical Grid (REE), Director of the National Electrical System.

The data is consistent with the entire national electric system’s wind, solar and hydropower production, not only the generation of the peninsula (where renewables have a greater presence, with 61.7% of production last month) but also the addition of the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla (which The composition of green plants decreases.

Renewed production weight in February It practically ties the record since last November (by 59.56%, just a tenth more, but by a lower total volume) and total generation is only behind the historical maximum recorded in January last year (with green generation of 13,542 GWh). From the renewable energy sector, it is accepted that four consecutive months of mostly renewable production is a sign that the balance will indeed tip towards a greater weight of green with increasing pace until it becomes permanent within a few years.

The wind prevails

Wind energy has dominated Spain’s electricity sector throughout the past year. In 2023, wind farms will become the largest source of electricity production on the Spanish market, replacing nuclear power plants (the traditional leader in generation) and natural gas plants (leading last year). the winds She has risen to the production lead for the third time in a decade, although she has always been second on the podium over the past decade. Wind power was the main generation technology in 2013 for the first time in history; It was not repeated until 2021, with the beginning of the energy crisis. He did so again in 2023.

Now wind energy has been the main source of production for five consecutive months electricity in the country. Wind turbine plants produced 31.2% of total electricity in February, with an output of 6,901 GWh, 47.6% more than in the same month of 2023. So far this year, wind energy is clearly strengthening as the technology contributing the most to Production, with 27.7% in the first two months.

Rainfall has been allowed in recent months Hydroelectric power stations Their production in February increased by 31.6% compared to the same month in 2023, which was a very dry year marked by drought. Hydraulic plants produced 3,242 GWh, making it the third technology in the mix in February, at 14.7% of the total. the photovoltaic solar energy, With 2,500 GWh recorded in February, its production increased by 16.2% compared to last year, obtaining a share of 11.3%, ahead of the 9.1% contributed by gas stations.

With this generation mix increasingly green, zero-GHG production (which also includes generation from nuclear power plants) reached its all-time best in the month, generating 81.4% of the total electricity produced in Spain. On February 10, the daily record quota of 88.5% of the national mix was reached.

Cheaper electricity

The expansion of renewables on the Spanish market and their increasing weight in the national electricity production mix represents not only environmental progress towards decarbonising the economy, but also due to its impact on the economy. Reducing the price of energy. Electricity markets reached exorbitant prices during the worst of the energy crisis, hitting historic highs of over €500 per megawatt hour. But electricity prices are now moderating thanks to lower gas prices and a greater weight in renewable energy production, giving households and businesses a break.

Electrical wholesale market, also known as Swimming pool, sets prices through a marginal system, making the newest and most expensive technologies necessary to cover demand. It determines the price of all other technologies every hour of the day. Some so-called submarginal obstetric techniques (Renewable energy, nuclear and hydroelectric energy) Entering the market at zero price. The more renewables are produced, the easier it is to contain energy prices. This is what is happening now, in addition to lower gas prices and CO2 emission rights.

In February, with renewables accounting for nearly 60% of total national electricity production, the average electricity market price fell to 40 euros per megawatt hour, the cheapest price since October 2020, before the energy crisis. A price drop below the level of €45 per MWh will result, as a negative for consumers

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The electricity sector warned of the distortions that would occur due to the immediate collapse of prices. When the production of these marginal capacities is sufficient to cover all planned consumption, the price remains at zero euros. This is what has happened on more and more occasions over the past year: with 109 hours at zero last year, the maximum in a decade, and indeed with 59 hours at zero so far in 2024 alone.

The renewable energy sector warns of the impact this reduction in electricity prices will have on businesses. Cannibalization is precisely because the expansion of renewables is putting the profitability of green plants – current and future – at risk, companies warn, due to falling electricity prices that could eventually halt investments in new developments.

(tags for translation)renewable

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