Wind power technology generated the cheapest electricity in 2015 for the Spanish. According to the payments information provided by system operator REE, the Spanish Electricity Grid (that includes deviation penalties), wind power was the only technology that earned less than 50 €/MWh on average over the past year (see graph) and, as such, was the cheapest technology in Spain, as corroborated by the AEE in its latest press release.
Moreover, it should be remembered that the 396 wind farms prior to 2004, accounting for 37% of the installed capacity, do not receive incentives following the Energy Reform. These farms generate 18.7 TWh of electricity – the equivalent of 7.6% of the entire electricity consumption of the peninsular – and are undoubtedly the cheapest electricity source in the country.
2015, which will go down in history due to the first global agreement to halt CO2 emissions, has confirmed that climate change is a worrying reality in Spain, in the form of little water and less wind. For the average consumer (with a PVPC tariff – Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer – and a consumption 3,500 kWh per annum), the result has been electricity costs rising 5%, with a wholesale market price at 2008 highs.
With an annual production of 47.600 GWh and a demand coverage of 19% (according to provisional REE data), wind power occupies an unusual third place as a system technology, after nuclear and coal. The fact that less wind has blown than in past years and that the installed capacity has not increased due to the sector paralysis caused by the Energy Reform has resulted in wind power losing position (in 2013 it was the leading system technology of the year and in 2014, second), with the resultant negative impact on the consumer’s energy bill.
Even so, the downward effect of wind power on the electricity market prices due to its low generation cost compared to conventional technologies was 12 €/MWh on the year. This means that, had wind technology not existed, the average annual price of the electricity market would have been 62.26 €/MWh, 23.8% higher. In other words, the total 246 TWh demanded by Spain’s (peninsular) economy over the course of 2015, would have cost €2.952bn more. By deducting the €1.254bn received by wind farms in 2015 as incentives, the net saving for Spain is €1.7bn.