Over a third of country's energy demand met by wind power
Gales across North West Spain helped to deliver a new record for the country's wind energy industry last week when turbines at one point covered over 40 per cent of the country's energy needs.
The high winds on Thursday morning meant that electricity supply from the country's extensive wind turbines peaked at 11,180MW, meeting 29 per cent of the country's energy demands. Earlier in the morning, when energy requirements were lower, the turbines spent several hours covering over 40 per cent of energy demand.
According to reports in The Guardian, Spain's Wind Energy Association said that at their peak the turbines were operating at 69 per cent their maximum theoretical potential.
Recent figures from the Global Wind Energy Council stated that Spain has 16,000MW of installed capacity, positioning it third in the world behind only Germany with 24,000MW and the US with 25,000MW.
However, Spain and in particular the north west region where prevailing winds blow in off the Atlantic has better wind profiles than both Germany and the US and as a result can deliver consistently high yields from its installed capacity.
According to the Spanish Wind Energy Association, the sector has provided 11.5 per cent of the country's energy during the year to date, up a third on last year.
Spain is fast emerging as a major European hub for the renewables sector with investment in wind energy coupled with hydroelectric projects and large scale solar energy plants in the south of the country.
According to figures from the WWF, renewable energy provided 31 per cent of total electricity supply in Spain last month, resulting in a cut in carbon emissions of 38 per cent compared with 2008.