Renewable technologies will reach 43.6% of all electricity in Spain this year, thus registering their largest share in the generation mix since 2007, the year in which the measurement began, according to data presented by Red Eléctrica de España (REE) in its year-end forecast of the main figures.
The share of green production in 2020 is 6.1 percentage points higher than in 2019 (37.5%) and is 3.2 points above the previous maximum annual participation, registered in 2014.
Spain generated 109,269 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity from renewable sources in 2020, 11.6% more than in 2019; despite the fact that the total electricity production was 4% lower, reaching 250,387 GWh.
Wind power, responsible for just over a fifth of all production (21.7%), was the renewable with the greatest presence and is placed second in a generation structure led by nuclear power with 22.2% and followed by combined cycle (contributes 17.8% of the total), hydroelectric (11.9%), cogeneration (10.8%) and solar photovoltaic, which, with a year-on-year increase in generation of 65, 9%, at the end of this year, occupies 6.1% of the national generation structure.
Another of the leading technologies of the year is coal, although in the opposite direction, since it has cut its production by 60% compared to 2019, reaching 5,064 GWh and registering its annual historical minimum of production and participation in the mix of Spanish generation: only 2% of the total.
The 2020 closing forecasts published by Red Eléctrica anticipate some of the first results of the advancement of the energy transition in which the Government of Spain is immersed in the hands of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (Pniec), whose goal is that 74% of all Spanish electricity generation in 2030 is of renewable origin.
This boom in renewable production has pushed 2020 to also be the year with the highest production free of CO2 equivalent emissions, with year-end forecasts in which 66.9% of all GWh of electricity generated in 2020 come from technologies that do not emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Emissions derived from electricity generation have been reduced by 27.3% compared to 2019.
The maximum share of green and clean energy production in 2020 is mainly due to favorable weather conditions, greater use of wind and sun as natural fuels and the increase in the renewable power installed in the Spanish generation park, which in 2020 adds 2,706 new MW of wind and solar photovoltaic, while reducing the presence of polluting technologies by 3,486 MW , mostly coal-fired power plants.
All in all, Spanish installed power currently has 109,674 MW, of which 53% belong to renewable technologies.
From now until the final end of the year, a variation of this data is expected, among other reasons, due to the incorporation of new renewable power and the reduction of groups 1 and 2 of the Guardo thermal power plant (Palencia), which represent a reduction in 486 MW of polluting power in the generation park.
Electricity demand falls by 5.9% due to the pandemic. In 2020, the demand for electrical energy in the Spanish electricity system is estimated at 249,716 GWh, 5.6% less than in 2019.
If the effects of working hours and temperatures are taken into account, the decrease in electricity demand The national level remains at 5.6%, mainly promoted by the covid-19 pandemic, which has slowed down economic activity until reaching, in some situations, decreases of up to 20% in relation to equivalent periods of the previous year.
By systems, it has been the Balearic Islands that has shown the greatest decrease (19.6% compared to its demand in 2019), followed by the Canary Islands (10.3%), the peninsular (5.1%), Ceutí ( 3.7%) and Melilla (0.9%).
On January 20, 2020 at 8:22 p.m. was the moment in which the maximum demand was registered in the peninsular electricity system, which reached a consumption of 40,423 MW, a figure slightly lower than that obtained in 2019, which was 40,455 MW. The peninsular consumption peak for 2020 is 11.1 points below the historical maximum of 45,450 MW, reached in 2007.
Continuing with the trend experienced in the last five years in international physical energy exchanges, the peninsular electricity system closes 2020 with an import balance of 3,857 GWh, 43.8% lower than that obtained in the previous year. The exchange balance is the result of the import of 18,687 GWh and the export of 14,830 GWh carried out this year.