By Paul Gipe, edited by Renewable Energy Focus
Red Electrica reports that Spain generated nearly 3% of its electricity from solar energy in 2010.
Despite withering criticism of Spain's once-thriving solar industry, projects installed during the boom years of 2007 and 2008 are producing commercial quantities of electricity.
The network operator's preliminary report on 2010 says that solar energy produced 6.9 TWh last year from 4 GW of generating capacity, mostly solar photovoltaics (PV), for 2.7% of supply.
Wind turbines generated nearly 43 TWh in 2010 for 16.4% of supply, slightly more than hydropower.
Spain's hydro plants produced more electricity last year, 38 TWh, than any time since 1997.
In total, wind and solar in provided 19% of supply. And combining ‘new’ and ‘conventional’ renewable energy, renewable sources delivered 34% of Spain's electricity.
Spain's climate, geography, and population are similar to that of California. Spain's 46 million inhabitants consume some 260 TWh per year.
California's 37 million people consume about 300 TWh per year. However, wind energy generates less than 6 TWh per year and solar less than 1 TWh per year. Together wind and solar provide only 2% of California's electricity.
This feed-in tariff news update is partially supported by An Environmental Trust and David Blittersdorf in cooperation with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The views expressed are those of Paul Gipe and are not necessarily those of the sponsors.
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