Spain is the second European country to have generated the most wind and solar power in 2021

España es el segundo país europeo que más energía eléctrica generó con eólica y solar en 2021

According to data from ENTSO-E, Spain is the second country in Europe to have generated the most electrical power from wind and solar in 2021 (including PV and thermal energy), only behind Germany. The sun and the wind produced over 86 GWh last year in Spain, one third of all domestic production. This is the finding of the Renewable Energies Report, a publication released on 30 June by REE, the Spanish Electricity Grid, for the sixth year running and with reports on the evolution of these technologies in Spain.

For the first time, this report is published in a digital format via a site designed to offer a more accessible and interactive browsing experience. Users can now navigate, interact and download information easily and quickly, selecting the technology in which they are interested and the data they wish (output, generation). They can also view international comparisons for each of the energies selected.

In this year’s issue, the report shows that Spain is making firm progress in the ecological transformation, consolidating its renewable energy leadership in 2021. These sources generated almost 47%, an all-time high that has been possible thanks to the increase in electricity production from wind and solar PV power. Both sources broke several records: wind power lead the mix with over 23%, as well as a 10% increase in generation. Meanwhile PV grew by 37% to achieve 8% of the generation structure.

Weather conditions and the increased renewable installed capacity explain these figures. Renewables expanded their generation capacity by 7.2% with the incorporation of 4.3 new GW. In this way, Spain closed the year with these technologies exceeding the 64 GW mark, meaning that as of 31 December, it accounted for almost 57% of the domestic generation stock. This positive evolution places Spain second, behind Germany and ahead of France and Italy, in the ranking of European nations with the most renewable output, according to data from ENTSO-E who has analysed REE..

Leadership of Castilla y León

From the regional standpoint, Castilla y León revalidated its renewable leadership in 2021. For another year, this has been the autonomous community with the largest installed renewable capacity in Spain, achieving a figure of almost 12 GW, which represents more than 95% of its generation stock, followed by Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha and Galicia.

By technology, Castilla y León also hold first place in wind power capacity, achieving 51% of its stock in 2021. Thanks to this, wind power production accounted for 49% of the regional mix in 2021. In PV, Extremadura is number one with the largest stock in the country. PV panels already represent almost 43% of the autonomous community’s installed capacity. With them, last year Extremadura produced 20% of its entire electricity generation.

More numbers: Electrical System Report

In addition to its paper on renewables, REE also released its Electrical System Report. Among other data, this includes more figures on electricity consumption evolutions, emissions, exchanges and the power markets.

Specifically, this report highlights the context of the Spanish energy recovery in 2021, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Electricity demand increased by 2.6% over 2020 to achieve a total demand of 256,482 GWh.

Similarly, the Report notes new milestones, such as the historic CO2eq emissions minimum, associated with domestic electricity generation: 35.9 million tonnes, 0.6% less than in 2020 and 67.7% lower than the emissions calculated in 2007.