Wind power energy has been widely used in Spain in recent years, whether in terms of installed power or in its own technology and research. This wide usage is largely the result of the advantages of such renewable energy and technology:
- It provides electricity supply in isolated places and away from the mainland
- It generates energy in a distributed manner, therefore reducing losses in transport and distribution
- It can be combined with photovoltaic hybrid installations
- It produces electricity at consumption points, adapted to the renewable resources and energy needs of each place
- Wind power is cost-effective – it is one of the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies
Achievements of Wind Energy
This wide usage can be demonstrated through the fact that during 2011, wind energy provided approximately 16% of the county’s energy and an installed capacity exceeding 21,600 MW, whereas in 2013 this grew to 17% and in 2014 the installed capacity had reached 23GW.
Moreover, in recent years, many wind energy milestones have been hit, with regards to 70% of Spain’s electricity being produced during a night in November 2015, and 54% during day use in January 2015. With these results, it is clear that Spain will achieve the European Union´s target for 2020 to reach 20% of all energy needs including electricity, heating, cooling and transport using renewable energy.
Furthermore, Spain is considered the second highest producer of electricity from wind power in the EU-27, with over 20,000 people working in the sector in Spain. The industry exports technology worth more than 2 billion Euros per year; it invests around 85.5 million Euros annually in research and development and it directly and indirectly contributes 2.6 billion Euros (0.24%) to GDP.
Spanish companies lead the global wind-power market. Some examples are Gamese Eólica (world’s largest wind-farm owner and operator) and Acciona Energía (world’s largest wind-farm builder and developer).
There is a steady demand and market in Spain for Spanish companies involved in wind power, but at the same time there are many opportunities over-seas. For example, Gamesa Eólica opened a wind farm in Illinois (Mendota Hills) in 2004 and recently opened its new North American office in Philadelphia. The company also sells its largest share of turbines in China.
Iberdrola, another Spanish company, is operating wind farms around Europe and Latin America, and Acciona Energía is working on an industrial project in China.
Overall, Spanish wind companies are present in the United States, Portugal, France, Italy, India, Australia, Japan, Cuba and China.
Financial analysts are also recognizing the strengths of the Spanish wind power industry. In the United States, Ernst and Young placed the Spanish wind market at the top of its index of long-term country attractiveness.
Wind power is a prominent feature and contributor to the renewable energy sector in Spain, with an ever growing percentage of Spain’s electricity being produced through this form. Moreover, Spanish wind power companies are not only expanding their presence in Spain, but also all over the world. Despite the decline of the solar energy sector as a result of the recent “sun tax”, the Spanish renewable energy sector, with particular emphasis on the wind power energy, continues to be a promising area of investment.
Isla Markham & Karl. H. Lincke
This article is not considered as legal advice