Spain Renewable Energy and High Penetration

By Paul Gipe


On November 19 and 20th, 2009 York University sponsored a workshop on Spain’s experience with feed-in tariffs and the large-scale integration of renewable energy.

Hugo Lucas Porta describes Spain’s history with feed in tariffs and proposed policies to meet the 20% by 2020 EU Target. Miguel de la Torre Rodriguez describes Spain’s revolutionary RE control centres used to obtain over 50% wind power on some days, reports Roger Peters for the Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance, CanREA.

There are a few details that stand out from both presentations.

In 2008 renewable energy generated 62 TWh. This is more than either nuclear generation, or coal-fired generation. Only natural gas generated more electricity. (It is Spain’s dependence on imported natural gas that has led to its shaky financial position, not its development of renewable energy.)

Solar PV in Spain generated 2.5 TWh in 2008, fully 1% of supply. This compares well with the 4.3 TWh generated by solar PV in Germany. Solar PV produced nearly 1% of German supply.

In contrast, California only produced 800 million kWh from solar PV in 2008, about 1/300 of supply.

Both presentations are available on CanREA’s web site.

Spanish Renewable Energy Policy: Feed-in Tariff System by Hugo Lucas Porta

RES Integration in the Spanish Electric System by Miguel de la Torre Rodriguez