Solar energy in Spain

5 03 2014

Antonio Urbina has presented a detailed analysis of solar energy in the context of the renewable energies in Spain in the last decade

Solar electricity in a changing environment: The case of Spain. Renewable Energy, Volume 68, Pages 264–269, 2014.

Antonio Urbina

Antonio Urbina

Here are some of the highlights

Evolution of the Spanish electricity mix is analysed for the past 23 years.

Within a total installed capacity which has evolved from 43GW in 1990 to 102GW in 2013, the share of renewable installed capacity has increased up to 48%, of which wind represents 22% (of the total) and solar electricity 6% (4% PV, 2% thermoelectric)

Solar electricity reached 15% of power generation in August 2013.

At peak time (13:30) solar electricity power injected to the grid was 15% of the total, which is remarkable for only a 6% of share in total installed capacity

Annual capacity factor of solar photovoltaic at national level is above 20%.

Which represents a performance ratio of more than 80% when compared to the theoretical expected energy output from the installed capacity.

Wind and solar are surpassing fossil-fuel technology (gas) in capacity factor.

This fact emphasizes the excess of installed capacity in Spain; since renewable electricity is produced at a very low marginal cost (once the facility has been built), fossil fuel technologies, and in particular gas fired plants (combined cycle) are working at very low capacity factors, around 10% since February 2013, which makes impossible to get an economic benefit from the huge investments made on this technology by the big electricity companies.


Energy mix in Spain


Solar electricity in Spain: Capacity Factors





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