Spain's windfarms set new national record for electricity generation  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Guardian has a report on a new output record for wind farms in Spain - "High winds over the weekend supplied 53% of Spain's electricity – equivalent to the power output of 11 nuclear plants" - Spain's windfarms set new national record for electricity generation.

Wind energy provided more than half of Spain's total electricity needs for several hours over the weekend as the country set a new national record for wind-generated power.

With high winds gusting across much of the country, Spain's huge network of windfarms jointly poured the equivalent of 11 nuclear power stations' worth of electricity into the national grid.

At one stage on Sunday morning, the country's wind farms were able to cover 53% of total electricity demand – a new record in a country that boasts the world's third largest array of wind turbines, after the United States and Germany.

For more than five hours on Sunday morning output from wind power was providing more than half of the electricity being used. At their peak, wind farms were generating 11.5 gigawatts, or two-thirds of their theoretical maximum capacity of almost 18GW.

The new record, which beat a 44 % level set earlier last week, came as strong winds battered the Iberian peninsula.

The massive output of wind turbines meant the Spanish grid had more electricity than was needed over the weekend. In previous years similar weather has forced windfarms to turn turbines off but now the spare electricity is exported or used by hydroelectric plants to pump water back into their dams — effectively storing the electricity for future use.

José Donoso, head of the Spanish Wind Energy Association, recalled that just five years ago critics had claimed the grid could never cope with more than 14% of its supply from wind.

"We think that we can keep growing and go from the present 17GW megawatts to reach 40GW in 2020," he told El País newspaper.

2 comments

But, but, but at The Oil Drum, I just read Gail the Actuary's bashing of the idea that we could depend upon clean energy sources. Are you sure you're not selling us a bill of goods, BG?

Well - lets just say I disagree with Gail's analysis and that I think the SciAm plan is one of many reasonable and practical plans to shift to a clean energy based economy.

Kiashu made a good comment :

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5939#comment-557888

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