Wind turbines and hydroelectric plants generated 30 percent of Spain’s energy this year for the first time meaning that Spain has already achieved the targets set by the European Union in 2001 for renewable energy by 2010.
A wet and windy January and February boosted the amount of electricity produced from wind and hydropower, according to the Spanish Grid.
The Spanish Wind Energy Association considers wind power to be a basic pillar in its electrical system.
Last year, wind power generated 16,740 megawatt-hours of electricity but the Spanish Grid and the Wind Energy Association (AEE) believe it can generate 20,155 megawatt-hours by 2010. The country generated 16,740 MW of wind energy in 2008 compared to 3,241 MW in the UK, 3,404 MW in France and 23,903 MW in Germany, highlighted business.timesonline.co.uk.
The AEE says that in 2008 wind power saved Spain spending €1.2 billion (£1.1 billion) on imported fossil fuels, created 40,000 jobs and prevented the emmission of 20 million tonnes of CO2 – or five percent of the total.
On how the industry is expected to shape up in 2009 as far as the expansion of this sector is considered, Alberto Ceña, Technical Director, Spanish Wind Energy Association recently told windenergyupdate.com: “Forecasting for 2009 is not easy, mainly due to the crisis and the difficulties of some developers to finance the projects but according to the projects already started up and some of them already developed, we estimate another 1.500 MW for this year.”
Ceña is scheduled to speak during European Wind Farm Site Selection Summit (to be held in Hamburg in April this year).