Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
Estimates have shown that the country has a technical wind potential of 15.1 GW, which has provided the wherewithal for an ambitious wind energy policy. From a capacity of just 75 MW in 1994, the end-2005 level was 10 028 MW. By then Spain was second in terms of global installed power, lying behind Germany and ahead of the USA (a position retained at end-2006, with an installed capacity of 11 615 MW).
Incremental wind capacity added since 2000 has resulted in historical programmes and forecasts being outstripped. The main impetus behind wind energy's strong position in the Spanish energy market has been the Spanish Renewable Energy Plan 2005-2010, issued by the Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (IDAE) in July 2005. The Plan specified that renewable energy (including large hydro) should supply 29.4% of electricity demand by end-2010 and at least 12% of total energy use. The target for wind capacity which had been set at 13 000 MW, was raised to 20 155 MW by end-2010.
Additionally, through a new support scheme for renewable energy, there is a strong incentive to connect wind farms to the electricity market: the price - related to the Average Electricity Tariff (AET) - paid for wind-farm generated electricity is guaranteed for the life of the installation.
Almost all of the Spanish autonomous communities possess wind capacity, from Valencia on the east coast with 20 MW (at end-2005) to Galicia in the north-west with 2 452 MW; only three mainland regions have none.
Although the market has experienced some delays in recent years, owing to administrative difficulties, the autonomous communities have ambitious plans for installations to total some 37 000 MW between 2010 and 2012, of which Andalusia plans 4 000 MW; Catalonia 3 000 MW; Castilla Leon 6 700 MW; Galicia 6 300 MW; Castilla La Mancha 4 450 MW; Aragón 4 000 MW; Canary Islands 890 MW and Valencia 2 400 MW. Several regional governments are also favouring the promotion of small wind farms of less than 5 MW.
Indigenously-owned manufacturers account for over 70% of wind turbines installed in the country. Whilst there are several foreign manufacturers in the market, the national company Gamesa has 50% of the home market. Since 1992 the average size of turbine has been on a rising trend and by 2005 stood at approximately 1.3 MW. However, the size favoured by the developers has grown to 2 MW, in order to maximise the use of land and minimise the environmental factors.