Wind energy is the energy with the greatest potential to combat climate change

Wind energy prevents the emission of 26 million tons of CO2 / year in Spain. Thanks to the 26 million tons of CO2 that the wind power avoids per year, the electricity sector is the only sector that has managed to reduce its emissions compared to 1990. The wind turbines avoided, in 2018, the import of 9.5 million tons equivalent of oil (PET). The electricity generated by wind energy saves 1,609 million euros per year in fossil fuel imports. The achievement of the objectives for the wind of the PNIEC will suppose 45% of the reduction in the CO2 emissions in 2030. In the period 2010-2030, the wind farm plants will avoid the emission to the atmosphere of 490 million tons of CO2, with a Approximate value of 14.7 billion euros in emission rights.


Wind is positioned as a leading technology to combat climate change. The Spanish wind sector is committed to the objectives of the Paris Agreement not to increase the global temperature by more than 1.5ºC, and works to ensure the decarbonization of energy and, in particular, the objectives of the Integrated National Plan of Energy and Climate by 2030 and the National Climate Strategy by 2050, and contribute to making the Madrid Climate Summit (COP25) one of the key milestones of the global fight against climate change.

The European Union has as its key objective the reduction of at least 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared to 1990, a reduction of at least 40% in 2030, although this objective can be increased to 50% if the new Green Deal of the new president of the European Commission is approved, and the adoption of a goal of zero net emissions by 2050 is being debated. Spain is one of the countries with more ambition in its objectives set out in the PNIEC draft, contemplating zero emissions in 2050. This sharp reduction in emissions must be based on pillars such as energy efficiency, electrification of demand and the generation of electricity through renewable energy.

In this sense, the advances made in the decarbonization of the electricity sector thanks to the commitment to renewable technologies in the last two decades indicate that rapid progress can be made towards more ambitious decarbonization objectives. In the absence of December to close 2019, the CO2 emissions figures of the electricity sector in Spain are encouraging and indicate that the efforts made to promote renewables, especially wind technology, will allow the electricity sector to meet the common objective one year in advance of the EU to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990. Without wind, CO2 emissions by November would have been 24% higher than in 1990.

Already in 2018, thanks to the 26 million tons of CO2 that the wind avoided, the electricity sector was the only sector of the national inventory of CO2 emissions that had managed to reduce its emissions compared to 1990. In 2020, the implementation of The renewable installations of the 2016 and 2017 auctions will allow an even greater reduction of the CO2 emissions of the electricity sector and an important advance towards the decarbonisation of the sector in 2050.

Wind energy, in the period 2000-2018, has prevented the emission of 353 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, of which 51 million tons of CO2 correspond to 2017 and 2018.

Emissions avoided by wind and fossil fuel import savings

In 2018, 26 million tons of CO2 have been avoided thanks to wind, this magnitude is equivalent to 73% of the total emissions of coal-fired power plants in the same year. During the past year, the savings in CO2 emission rights amounted to 401, 3 million euros (considering a price of the emission right of 15.88 euros / tonne).

The wind not only prevents the emission of greenhouse gases, it also reduces the importation of fossil fuels. The reduction of fossil fuel imports is an important contribution in the Spanish balance of payments and benefits the Spanish economy. Between 2000 and 2018, the reduction in oil consumption amounted to 901.6 million barrels of oil equivalent. The equivalent of two years of Spanish oil imports.

In economic terms, saving thanks to wind has been:

    22,929 million euros in the 2000-2018 period
    1,699 million euros in 2018

Looking ahead, wind technology plays a leading role in reducing greenhouse gases and complying with PNIEC: it is the technology that avoids the most CO2 emissions according to PNIEC data. The 116 TWh of electricity that will be generated with the wind power in 2030 accounts for 34% of the total national electricity demand and will be the main generation technology. Depending on how fast the electrification of other sectors advances, the deployment of wind power in accordance with the planning of the PNIEC will involve between 22% and 49% of the effort in reducing emissions until 2030 (-109 M Ton CO2 compared to 2005 ).

Wind farm and electric mobility

Wind power will produce electricity to power electric vehicles: each MWh wind energy, and other renewable technologies, additional PNIEC will contribute to reducing emissions from the electricity sector and transport at the same time.

If the wind turbines targets of the PNIEC are achieved, with a 34% penetration of wind energy in the electricity mix that will feed the 5 million electric cars planned in 2030, thanks to the wind turbines, 4.3 million tons of CO2 in transport (the equivalent of 15.3% of the PNIEC objective for Mobility and transport).

Adding the reduction in emissions in transport to that of the electricity sector, in total, the contribution of wind turbineswill be 49.2 million tons of CO2.

Reaching the 50 GW of installed wind farm plants by 2030 will represent approximately 45% of the reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 planned in the PNIEC. In total, in the period covered by PNIEC, 2021-2030, wind farm power will prevent the emission into the atmosphere of 490 Million tons of CO2, with an approximate value of 14.7 billion euros in emission rights.

November 2019 and wind energy

New record of wind farm production. The wind turbines led the generation mix in November. In the month of November 2019, 33.8% of the electricity consumed in Spain has been thanks to the wind turbines. Last month was November with the cleanest electricity since 1990: only 14 grams of CO2 per kWh consumed, compared to 40 grams of CO2 in 1990, equivalent to a 65% reduction.

The production of wind farm origin, in November, has been sufficient to cover the electricity demand of all households in the country. This electricity has been generated in 807 Spanish municipalities and in 16 Spanish autonomous communities.

With a third of the electricity generated by the wind turbines, the average PVPC price of electricity for the month of November fell 18% compared to last year and 3.5% compared to the month of October. The price of the electricity market has also been reduced, by 32% compared to last year. So far this year, wind farm has accounted for 21.1% of electricity generation, which is also a new record.