For a short time last Sunday (8 November), blustery winds in Spain allowed wind turbines to supply 53.7% of total power demand across the country. The output was equivalent to 11 nuclear reactors, and was 10.7% higher than the previous record of wind power output set last year.
The peak occurred between 03h00 and 08h30 (local time) on Sunday, when national demand ranges from 21,700 to 19,700 MW. On that afternoon at 14h30, the maximum of simultaneous wind energy production of 11,546 MW was set, 343 MW more than the 11,202 MW achieved on 5 March when wind turbines accounted for 29% of national demand.
In the first 9 days of this month, wind generated 1,770,486 MWh in Spain, ahead of the 1,369,955 MWh from combined cycle facilities and the 1,223,350 MWh from nuclear.
By 2020, Spain is expected to double its wind capacity from the current 16,000 MW to 45,000 MW. The World Wind Energy Association says Spain’s installed wind power capacity in January was 16,740 MW, in third place behind the USA (25,170 MW) and Germany (23,903 MW).
The global wind capacity was 121,188 MW earlier this year, of which 27,261 MW were added in 2008 and generate 260 TWh per year. The wind energy sector has created 440,000 jobs, the claims WWEA, and represents annual revenue of €40 billion.
Last year, Spain's wind farms covered 11.5% of power demand, avoided the emission of 20 Mt of carbon and the need to import €1,200 million of fossil fuels.