Monday, 13 January 2014
Spain First Country to Produce Majority of Power from Wind
The data still has to be analysed and confirmed, but preliminary reports suggest that Spain is the first country to generate the large portion of its annual power needs from wind. According to raw data provided by Red Eléctrica de España (REE), it appears that wind power accounted for 21.1% of the electricity put into the Spanish electrical grid for the 2013 calendar year.
The data must first be verified by Spain's governing body, Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE), before any official claim can be made however, should the REE data prove accurate then Spain will have been the first to achieve something countries all over Europe have been striving for: creating a volume of renewable energy that surpasses non-renewable sources.
REE says that wind power's 21.1% production just barely eclipsed the 21% generated by nuclear. Coal was the third largest generation source at 14.6% while hydropower came in at 14 4%. Finally, combined renewable sources provided 42% of the country's electricity needs.
Equally important is the fact that Spain has been able to reduce wholesale power prices by increasing renewable energy generation. AEE claims the wholesale price on the day of the highest renewable output was €7.69/MWh, compared to a price of €93.11/MWh on the day of the lowest output. In addition, wind energy appears to have saved the country more than €2.7 billion in foreign energy imports.
Spain and its wind power consortium should be extremely proud of the feat they accomplished in 2013. Moreover, even if the final analysis still shows nuclear did better, they have still come a long way in terms of commercial wind power. The country needs to take every opportunity to continue harnessing what it has available in order to reduce its dependence on coal, nuclear, and other non-renewable energy sources.
In the future, we would expect Spanish power companies to design and build wind generation technologies even more sophisticated than what is being used today. It may still be a long way off, but their 2013 accomplishment even makes it possible that Spain will one day be the first country to all but abandon coal and nuclear.
As we've said in previous posts, the high-speed and high-powered data communications of today demand nothing less. It is critical we develop as many renewable energy sources as possible if we are to keep up with the advances in computer technology without sacrificing the energy consumption needs of the rest of society. Renewable energy must lead the way.
Perhaps now that Spain has proved it can be done on a large scale, there may be other opportunities to create self-contained data centres and collocation facilities that have no need for power from the grid. Perhaps we are closer than ever to the day when they generate their own power to the point of having excess they can return for general use. If you are a fan of renewable energy, it is an exciting time to revel in what Spain has accomplished.