Almost overnight, wind has burst into the energy picture of both countries, demonstrating the speed with which wind farms can be installed and provide a significant energy contribution. Wind energy stood second only to natural gas in Spain in December, producing 20.1% of total national electricity supply, and ranked third for the year (14.3%)–behind gas (30.4%) and nuclear (20%), but ahead of coal (12.7%). In Portugal, wind was expected to generate 14% of national electricity supply for 2009, up from less than 1% in 2000.
Also worth noting: in 2009, wind power accounted for 95% of new generating capacity installed in Spain. And of special interest: Spain has been able to integrate wind generation at levels exceeding 50% of instantaneous supply without adding new energy storage to its utility system.
Comments our in-house electric industry expert, Michael Goggin: "They [Spain] are definitely a success story in terms of successfully integrating centralized wind forecasting into grid operations – they have a state-of-the-art operations center devoted to that. Spain has a single large balancing area with robust energy markets, which greatly facilitates wind integration as well."
AWEA News By Tom Gray