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Spain generated 3% of its electricity from solar in 2010

Feb 19, 2011 - Paul Gipe -

Despite the reductions in support for solar system, Spanish solar systems now deliver electricity in the TWh range making solar bigger than hydro or coal, and Spain now produces more wind and solar power than California.

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.


Updated: 2003/07/28