Wind power, the leading power generation technology in Spain with over 23% of the production

Convocatoria de los Premios Eolo 2021 de AEE en sus distintas categorías: Fotografía, Innovación, Integración Rural y Microcuentos

2021 was a year of important milestones for wind power in Spain, the main one being that wind power is the leading power generation technology in Spain. Closing figures for 2021 indicate that wind power technology recorded more than 23% of total production in our country, thus topping the domestic generation mix as the leading power generation technology. In addition, wind power is also the first technology in the Spanish energy system by installed capacity (28,073 MW, provisional data from REE, Spain’s TSO).

Last year was a record for renewables as a whole, producing over 46% of all the electricity in the country, almost 10% up on 2020.

Two new records were achieved by wind power in 2021:

  • On 8 December, wind power passed 20,000 MW of instant generation for the first time in history, reaching 20,130 MW at 1334 on that day.
  • On 29 December, at 0303, wind power covered 83.6% of peninsular demand.

Wind power in Spain and around the world

The Autonomous Communities with the largest installed capacity in Spain are Castilla y León, Aragón and Castilla-La Mancha. Spain is the second European country by installed wind power capacity behind Germany; and is ranked fifth in the world after China, the United States, Germany and India.

Key component in the Spanish energy sector

The wind power sector is key to meeting the NECP objectives and achieving 42% of energy consumption originating from renewable energies by 2030, in addition to being a fundamental pillar for the Energy Transition. With over 1,260 wind farms and 250 industrial centres across Spain, the sector employs over 27,600 professionals, contributing €3.106,4bn to domestic GDP, the equivalent of 0.3% (data from the Macroeconomic Study on the Wind Power Sector, AEE, 2020).

Two renewables auctions were held in 2021, in January and October, with the new output auctioned for wind power totalling 3,256 MW. Wind power was the technology awarded the most capacity in these auctions, with average prices of 25.31 €/MWh and 30.18 €/MWh, respectively.

These new megawatts will generate local emissions-free electricity for 2.5 million households, and will increase the current renewable generation by 8.2%, in addition to which the projects awarded to wind power will represent an investment of over €2.5 billion.

Key progress in the development of offshore wind power in Spain

Offshore wind power is an opportunity to position Spanish industry as an international reference. In this field, and specifically in floating technology, Spain is a global technological and industrial hub. It is therefore essential to comply with the Roadmap for the Development of Offshore Wind and Marine Energy, approved at the end of 2021, followed by approval of the maritime spatial planning; the urgent updating of existing regulation to develop offshore wind power projects; and the establishment of an auctions calendar for floating offshore wind farms.

A sustainable and clean energy on the path to the energy transition

Wind power is the technology whose clean energy contribution has recorded the highest grown, avoiding the emission into the atmosphere of over 28.5 million tonnes of CO2. Thanks mainly to the increase in wind power generation, the CO2 emissions of the Spanish power sector on the peninsular achieved a new historic minimum, 46.8% lower compared to the emissions level in 1990. Electricity was cleaner than ever, with an average content of 138 grCO2/kWh compared to the 400 grCO2/kWh in 1990 and the 285 grCO2/kWh in 2017.