The largest producer of wind power in Spain is Iberdrola, with 27 percent of capacity, followed by Acciona on 16 percent and Endesa with 10 percent. Steady growth in capacity is expected in 2009, despite the credit crunch, due to long-term investments. Spain’s wind farms are on track to meet a government target of 20,000 MW in capacity by 2010.
The existing wind energy capacity for major companies in Spain is the following: Gamesa Eólica, 3281 MW; Made, 803 MW; Neg Micon, 715 MW; Ecotècnia, 446 MW; G. Electric, 343 MW; Izar-Bonus, 317 MW; Desa & AWP, 121 MW; Enercon, 58 MW; Lagerwey, 38 MW; and Others, 113 MW (2007).
It is also noteworthy that the supportive Spanish policies for wind power development have resulted in severe competition for construction sites among major companies. Political leaders in the autonomous communities have been frazzled by the numerous applications for wind farm construction.
According to findings published in the Spanish Wind Energy Association’s “Eólica 09" annual report, on 1 January 2009 wind power capacity in other countries installed and operated by Spanish companies amounted to almost 8,000 MW. Among the 17 countries in which Spanish companies operate, the greatest amount of installed capacity is in the United States with a total of 3,460 MW, followed by Portugal with 1,161 MW.
This degree of internationalisation – which also applies to Spanish wind turbine and component manufacturers, engineering firms and service providers operating in around 30 countries – underlines the Spanish wind industry’s leadership position.
Spain is a net exporter of equipment, services and technology associated with the industry and progress in Spain has attracted a noteworthy number of foreign investors. In fact, according to the latest data collated by the AEE, exports of the wind turbine manufacturing sub-sector in Spain alone reached €2,234 million in 2008. If exports of components and services are also considered, total wind-energy associated exports from Spain stood at €2,950 million at 2008 year end, up 15% on the €2,550 million achieved in 2007.
Spain continues to occupy second place in Europe and third place worldwide, with 16,740 MW installed at 2008 year end, which the AEE estimates could rise by a further 500 MW during the first quarter of 2009 to 17.200 MW.
Wind energy is an important energy source in Spain because the Spanish government has sanctioned a green energy approach to guarantee an increase in the country’s wind generation capacity, with aspirations to install a total of 20.1 GW of wind power by 2010.
Spain has the world’s largest development pipeline for solar thermal, which uses the sun’s heat to produce electricity. The projects chosen were picked from a list that had a potential capacity of 4,300 megawatts. About 2,000 megawatts of solar thermal are under construction in the world, with 89 percent in Spain.
A bottleneck for approvals had developed since June because the government was overwhelmed with applications for clean energy plants and wanted to slow the pace of development.
The new projects enter the ministry’s registry and will be allowed to start selling energy over the next three years, with their connection to the grid set out in a staggered fashion. The full list of approved generators will be published next week.