Maximum coverage of demand by wind power in Spain: 54,1%

The high amount of wind power production that morning, together with the increased generation of hydroelectricity, as a consequence of the controlled reservoir discharges due to recent rains, obliged the Control Centre to reduce thermal production to the technical minimum.

Due to the low demand at this particular time, this measure proved insufficient, which lead the Control Centre of Renewable Energies (Cecre) to give the order to reduce wind power generation between 4:00 and 7:00 am by 600 MW.

The production of wind energy during the month of December has grown by 23.9% with respect to the same period last year, representing 19.2% of total generation. This percentage, together with hydroelectric and solar production, means that more than 34% of the total production in December was obtained from renewable energy sources. For 2009 as a whole, production obtained from renewable energy sources reached 26%.

On several occasions, wind energy exceeded the previous historic highs for instantaneous power, hourly power and daily power. On 8 November, new historic highs in wind power production were recorded: 11,620 MW of instantaneous power, 11,429 MWh of hourly wind power and 251,543 MWh of daily wind power, 44.9% of the electrical demand for that day.

Similarly, in November, a monthly maximum of wind energy was produced which covered 22.7% of the demand for that month, surpassing the contribution of nuclear (19.5%) for the first time ever.

The highly variable nature of wind power led to extreme situations, such as the case of 8 November (at 03.59) when 53.7% of demand was covered by wind power.
Installed power in the Spanish peninsular system increased by 2,682 MW during 2009, reaching a total of 93,215 MW, representing an increase of 3% compared to the previous year.

The majority of this new generation came from new wind farms, which contribute 2,576 MW to the installed power, reaching a total of 18,119 MW by the end of 2009, and 568 MW for combined cycle. Regarding decommissioning, two fuel fired generation units were closed with a combined power of 474 MW.

With regard to the coverage of demand, it is important to highlight that for the first time in history wind power energy, with a contribution of 13% (11% in 2008), surpassed that of coal, which has covered just 12% of the demand, reducing its production 25.8%.

Similarly, the increase in the amount of renewable energies is reflected in the fact that these have covered 26% of the overall yearly demand as compared to 24% in 2008. Within renewable energy, solar energy contributed 3%.

The fall in electricity consumption, on one hand, and the increase in renewable energies, as well as a lower production level from coal fired plants, on the other, have contributed to the reduction of 15.5% in CO2 emissions within the electricity sector with respect to 2008, reaching an estimated total of 74.5 million tonnes this year.

Demand for electrical energy falls 2.1% in December

The demand for electrical energy on the Spanish peninsula was 22,402 GWh in the month of December, representing a drop of 2.1% with respect to the same month last year. After factoring in the effects of seasonal and working patterns, the adjusted demand showed a growth of 0.6%.

At the close of 2009, the demand for electrical energy had reached 251,524 GWh, 4.6% less than in 2008. Factoring in the effects of seasonal and working patterns, the adjusted demand showed a fall of 4.3% during the period.

In 2009, the demand for electrical energy on the Spanish peninsula was 251,305 GWh, 4.6% less than in 2008. This fall represents the first negative annual rate of electrical energy demand since 1985 when Red Eléctrica first started recording registers regarding the evolution of the demand. Factoring in the effects of seasonal and working patterns, the annual fall was 4.3%.

This fall in demand is the result of accumulative negative rates registered in every month this year, year in which there have been two differentiated periods. A period of sharp decline which culminated in April with the largest fall (11.8%), month after which began a second stage during which more moderate falls were recorded and resulting in a negative rate of 2.3% in December.