In 2023, Spain puts into service the highest number of installed solar photovoltaic power in its history, 5,594 new MW

Spain breaks records by incorporating 5,594 new MW of installed solar photovoltaic power connected to the grid, 28% more than in 2022. With this boost, renewable generation grew by 15.1% in 2023 and managed to represent 50.3% of electricity production at the national level. 2023 has also been the year with the lowest CO2 equivalent emissions (greenhouse gases), almost 28% less than the previous year.
The installed power of photovoltaic solar has increased by 28% during the year 2023, adding 5,594 new MW to the Spanish generation park, the highest figure since records began. Thus, this technology already has 25,549 MW in service and occupies 20.3% of the total structure of the Spanish generation park. With this year-on-year increase, our country is the second with the highest installed solar power (both thermal and photovoltaic) of the ENTSO-E countries.

For Beatriz Corredor, president of Redeia, parent company of Red Eléctrica, “the 2023 figures show that Spain has consolidated its renewable leadership. The efforts in the operation of the system and the extraordinary transportation network have contributed to this, which have allowed our country to safely reach 50% renewables in the mix. The network is prepared and will continue to be prepared to meet the objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC).”

Corredor made these statements during the presentation of the Spanish electricity system report 2023 and the renewable energy report 2023, two Red Eléctrica documents that collect the main figures of the sector from last year.

This presentation event also included the participation of the Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen, who indicated that “in the last decade the energy mix has been completely transformed, with a clear prominence of renewables. Given this new panorama, networks are key to maximizing opportunities. We have started a new planning cycle to, while maintaining the long-term signals, adapt them to the pace at which this transition progresses. Planning that includes new principles such as the decarbonization of industrial activity, which demand greater flexibility. Therefore, aware of all this, the Government has included 931 million for networks in the addendum.”

In the total calculation of installed power, Spain ended 2023 with more than 125.6 GW, of which 61.3% are renewable. Thus, during 2023 the renewable generation park grew by 8.8% thanks, in addition to the new photovoltaic MW mentioned, to the addition of 661 MW of wind power and 4 MW of the contingent of other renewables. In the national ranking, wind power remains the technology with the greatest presence, with 24.5%, followed by the combined cycle (20.9%), photovoltaic (20.3%) and hydraulic power (13.6%). %).

2023, the year in which all records were broken

According to the documents presented today, 2023 will also be remembered as the year in which all historical maximums of renewable generation were shattered, since for the first time in history, more than half of the mix (50.3%) came from in resources such as wind, sun or water.

During 2023, Spain produced 15.1% more renewable energy than in the previous year, reaching 134,321 GWh and thus surpassing all its records in terms of renewables at the national level. Two technologies have mainly contributed to this historic milestone: wind, the leader of the mix with 23.5% of the total, and photovoltaics, which produced 33.8% more than in 2022.

As a direct consequence of the increase in renewable contribution, 2023 has also been the year with the lowest CO2 equivalent emissions (greenhouse gases): 32,045,711 tCO2 equivalent, almost 28% less than the previous year.

Wind was the main resource used in our country to generate electricity followed by nuclear (20.3%), combined cycle (17.3%), photovoltaic (14%) and hydraulics, which increased during 2023. contribution by 41.1% compared to the previous year and registered a participation of 9.5%. The increase in hydraulic production during 2023 is explained by the fact that the previous year (2022) was especially dry. The generation structure is completed by other technologies such as cogeneration, pumping turbines, coal, solar thermal and others, which in calculation add up to approximately the remaining 15%.

The most pronounced decrease in 2023 compared to its production from the previous year is led by coal, which generates 50.1% less, to 3,871 GWh, with which it registers its lowest share within the mix, only 1.5%.

Electrical demand and quality of service

In its Report on the Spanish electricity system 2023, Red Eléctrica also analyzes other magnitudes such as the evolution of demand, which in 2023 was 1.9% lower than in 2022, once the effects of employment and temperatures. In gross terms, the electricity demand for 2023 has stood at 244,665 GWh, 2.3% less, while in the group of countries belonging to ENTSO-E, electricity consumption has experienced a decrease of 3.3% compared to to 2022.

For its part, the availability index of the transportation network in the peninsular system reached a value of 97.62%, a value very in line with that recorded in the electrical systems of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, which was 97.84%. % and 98.93%, respectively.

Regarding international exchanges of electrical energy between Spain and other countries, it should be noted that 2023 closed with the second largest export balance in history, after the maximum reached during 2022, with a value of 13,938 GWh in the export sense.