Demand for electricity grew 1.8% in 2015

In 2015, electricity consumption recovered a positive growth rate that had not been seen since 2010. Moreover, the Peninsula-Balearic electricity link has enabled 23% of the demand on the Balearic Islands to be covered.

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Department of Statistics and Information

The peninsular electricity demand in 2015 grew 1.8% compared to the previous year, recording the first positive value in the last five years, reaching 247,988 GWh. After factoring in the seasonal and working patterns, the increase which is mainly attributable to the growth in economic activity rose by 1.6%, which contrasts with the fall of 0.1% registered in 2014.

On February 4, maximum values for the year were set with instantaneous power reaching 40,726 MW at 7:56 pm, and hourly demand reaching 40,324 MWh between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm. These maximum values ​​for 2015 were higher than those recorded in 2014 by 4.6% and 4.3% respectively. In addition, on 20 January, the maximum daily electricity demand was registered 821 GWh.

Installed power capacity: Fuel-gas generation disappears on the Peninsula

Installed power capacity in the complete set of generating facilities on the Spanish peninsula remained similar to that of the previous year, closing the year at 100,966 MW (0.4% more than at the end of 2014). Most of new installed power has corresponded to the commissioning of the 850 MW ‘La Muela II’ hydroelectric station, which has offset the closure of the 506 MW ‘Foix’ power station which was the last fuel-gas fired station on the Peninsula.

Reduced weight of renewable in demand coverage

In 2015, renewable energy maintained a significant role in electricity generation, with a weight of 36.8%, but these energies have decreased their participation in the production structure by 6 percentage points over the previous year. The cause of this decline was the variability of hydro and wind power production that registered decreases of 27.6% and 5.8% respectively.

Despite this decline, it should be noted that during the year there have been new all-time highs set for wind power generation. On 29 January the previous all-time high for instantaneous power and hourly energy from wind power generation in the peninsular system was beaten, recording values ​​of 17,553 MW at 7:27 pm and 17,436 MWh between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. A day later, on 30 January, the all-time high for wind power production was set at 357,741 MWh.

Similarly, on 21 November a new all-time high was established for demand coverage by wind generation in the peninsular system when, at 4.50 am, 70.4% of the demand was covered by this generation. In addition, wind technology was the greatest contributor to the total production on the Spanish Peninsula in the months of February and May.

In contrast to the lower weight of renewables in demand coverage for 2015, nuclear has again been the technology with greater weight reaching 21.8%, and there has been a rise in coal-fired production with a contribution of 20.3% to demand coverage, placing it in second place and pushing wind power back to third place with 19%.

Electricity consumption recovers in non-peninsular systems

In 2015, annual demand for electricity in the whole of the non-peninsular systems grew 2.1% with regard to the previous year. By electricity system, the Balearic Islands increased by 3.7%; the Canary Islands by 1.2%, and Melilla by 2.5%, while in Ceuta there was a fall of 2.7% compared to the values ​​registered in 2014.

As for demand coverage in the Balearic Islands, noteworthy was the Peninsula-Balearic Islands’ link which enabled an energy input in the archipelago of 1,333 GWh, a value 2.7% higher than 2014, which covered 23% of the demand in the Balearic Islands’ electricity system. Moreover, the weight of coal-fired generation has been reduced and combined cycle increased nearly seven percentage points.

Export balance in the international exchange programme

The balance of international electricity exchanges remained, for yet another year, as exporter with 154 GWh, a value 95.5% less than in 2014. In 2015, exports reached 14,488 GWh and imports reached 14,334 GWh.


The data used in this article has been prepared in accordance with the provisions set out in Royal Decree 413/2014, of 6 June, which regulates the electricity production activity from renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste, and which affects the generation mix of the electricity balance report that Red Eléctrica publishes.

Production data will be net as a result of the disappearance of the ‘Consumption in generation’ concept.

Generation obtained from hydro and other hydro are now grouped into a single term called Hydro; the concept of renewable thermal has disappeared, and two new technologies have been included: ‘Other renewables’, which includes generation from biomass, biogas, geothermal and marine-hydroelectric and ‘Waste’. Up until 2014, these were divided between ‘Renewable thermal’ and ‘Cogeneration and other’. Finally, the concept ‘Cogeneration’ is maintained, but used exclusively for this technology.