Generation of renewables drops 16.3% in 2017

Renewable energy production in the Spanish electricity system closed 2017 at its lowest rate in the last eight years due to a minimal contribution from hydroelectric.

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In 2017 the generation of renewable energy fell 16.3% relative to the previous year, to 84,505 GWh, the lowest production rate since 2009. Lacklustre hydroelectric generation—accounting for only 7% of total domestic production in 2017, relative to 13.7% in 2016—was the main cause of the decline. With 18,364 GWh, the contribution of this technology in a particularly dry year was 49% lower than in 2016, representing the lowest production rate since 2005. Consequently, the contribution of renewables to generation as a whole also declined, from 38.4% in 2016 to 32.1%.

At the close of 2017, renewables accounted for 46.3% of Spain’s installed capacity, with wind energy being the largest contributor (22% of the total), followed by hydroelectric (16.4%), and solar (6.7%). Installed wind capacity accounted for nearly 57% of renewables overall.

Wind was also the most important renewable technology in terms of generation, with 18.2% of total production, positioning it second after nuclear. Hydroelectric only contributed 7%, while solar reached 5.2% of the total energy generated in Spain.

All data about the performance of renewable energies in the Spanish electricity system in 2017 and their evolution in recent years is available in a report published by Red Eléctrica, the content of which makes it a benchmark of statistical information about electricity in Spain, helping both the company and the industry players do their jobs more efficiently.

By autonomous community, Castilla y León maintains the lead

In 2017 more than half of the renewably sourced installed capacity came from Castilla y León, Galicia, Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha. For their part, Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha made remarkable contributions, with more than 70% of their installed capacity originating from renewable sources.

In terms of generation, it is worth noting that in six autonomous communities, more than 40% of generation came from renewable sources. Castilla León and Navarra ranked at the top with 64% and 61%, respectively.

The autonomous community with the highest installed wind capacity was Castilla y León, accounting for nearly a quarter of the national total, followed by Castilla-La Mancha, Galicia and Andalusia. The sum of these four communities represented 70% of installed capacity. Castilla y León also led in terms of hydroelectric, with almost 26% of the total, due to the fact that it is home to the Duero basin. Galicia followed with 22%.

Castilla-La Mancha had the highest installed capacity of photovoltaic solar energy, with 20% of the national total. This autonomous community, in conjunction with Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla y León, accounted for more than 60% of the total. With regard to solar thermal energy, only six communities have this type of facility. Andalusia and Extremadura led the way, accumulating 80% of the total installed capacity between them.