Wind energy enough to light almost all Spanish households

People who work in the Spanish wind energy sector will no doubt be sharing great news with those attending next week’s EWEA 2013 Annual Eventin Vienna: the nation’s monthly wind-power output exceeded 6 terawatt-hours for the first time in January.

The Spanish Wind Energy Association’s blog, Somos Eolicos, reported that amount of power would be enough to light most households in the nation.

Bloomberg reported that the association — using data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana — said the milestone was passed Tuesday this week from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time.

“Since Nov. 1, wind has been the top technology in the electrical system,” the association was quoted as saying in a blog posting. “The last time any technology exceeded 6 terawatt-hours of monthly generation was in 2010, when it was combined-cycle gas turbines.”

The Bloomberg story also said that wind generation this month had totaled 6.214 terawatt-hours as of 9:49 a.m. local time Wednesday. That represents more than a quarter of Spain’s total power output, according to Red Electrica, and puts the sector ahead of nuclear and coal-fired electricity.

It added that the association said wind energy has accounted for more power than any other energy source in the three months ending Thursday, a first for any quarter.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said in its 2011 annual statistical report that Spain had the second largest amount of installed wind power capacity of any EU nation that year. EWEA said that Spain had 23%, or 21.7 gigawatts (GW), of the EU’s total installed capacity of 93.7 GW. Germany was in first place with 31%, or 29.1 GW,  of total installed capacity, EWEA said, adding France, Italy and the UK — all of which had a 7% share of installed capacity — were in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Spain had, by the end of 2011, the fourth largest amount of total installed wind power capacity in the world.

“Spain is endowed with significant wind power resources,” the GWEC report said, adding, “the technical-economical potential for onshore wind power is more than 100 GW by 2020, and more than 150 GW by 2030.”

Spain’s 2020 objective stands at 35 GW of installed wind capacity.

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