Spain becomes the first European wind energy producer after overcoming Germany
Even though Spain has less installed capacity, it generated more electricity from wind energy than Germany in 2010, which shows the good performance of the system
Electricity generation using wind energy reached 42,976 GWh* in Spain in 2010, which means that for the first time in history, it overcame Germany -36,500 GWh- as Europe's leading producer of wind energy, according to data of the Barometer EurObserv'ER, the European Commission´s observatory of renewable energies. The electricity demand covered by wind energy in Spain last year was 16.4% compared to 6.2% in Germany.
However, Germany holds the first place in Europe in terms of installed capacity, with a total of 27,214.7 MW at December 31, 2010. Spain occupies the second position with 20,676 MW. Having managed to produce more electricity from wind energy with fewer turbines shows the good performance of the Spanish system. In both countries, the sector´s pace of growth slowed down last year: Germany installed 1,551 MW and Spain 1,516 MW.
Unlike Germany, 2010 was a year of high levels of wind in Spain. Also, Spain has lower generation costs, it has more modern wind turbines than Germany (our wind energy market began to develop later) and it has a better grid integration system thanks to the work carried out between Red Eléctrica de España (REE) – Spain´s TSO- and the wind sector. All this translates into the effectiveness of the Spanish model.
Like Spain, Germany has an incentive system for wind energy based on environmental premiums (feed in tariff), considered by the European Commission to be the most efficient in Europe in economic terms. New German wind farms perceived last year 92 Euros per MWh, compared to the average 77 Euros that received the Spanish ones. Spain is, together with Portugal, the European Union country with lower wind tariffs.
Given the proven effectiveness of the system, the Spanish wind industry believes that the new regulation to be issued by the Government should be based on the current system. For wind energy to continue its development and Spain to meet the 2020 European targets, the Government needs to set now the new regulatory framework to replace the Royal Decree 661/2007, which expires at the end of 2012. The installation of wind farms requires long maturation periods (six to eight years), so companies need to know now the conditions under which the sector can be developed from 2013.
AEE Communications Department
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