With investment and new projects booming, wind energy has become the main source of energy in Spain, as Europe seeks to reduce energy imports from Russia.
“We’re on good ground here,” said García Lடோ dore, project manager at Enal Green Power Spain, referring to the imposing masts built at the height of the small northeastern town of Villar de los Navarrose.
The Spanish-Italian company chose this highly ventilated place to build one of the largest wind farms in the country, with a capacity of 180 MW.
It’s called Deco Wind, it has 43 Windmills Lador said the company began generating electricity in November, while workers around him were looking at the 100-meter (328-foot) turbine.
“The wind blows here 2,500 to 3,000 hours a year,” he added.
Once the wind farm is fully operational within a month, it will be able to serve the needs of 148,000 households, with a production of 471 GWh per year.
Projects of this kind have appeared in recent years throughout Spain, making it the second largest in Europe wind force The manufacturer is the fifth largest in the world after Germany in terms of installed capacity.
According to the national operator of the renewable energy grid, wind power became the main source of electricity generation in Spain last year, 23 percent more than nuclear (21 percent) and gas (17 percent).
Although the sector “benefits from a conducive environment,” there are “brakes” to its growth, such as reliance on government offerings, said Francisco Valverde Sanchez, renewable energy expert at energy consultancy Minda Energy.
The sector was closed abruptly in 2013 due to the rise of generous public subsidies and the reduction of subsidies in 2013 during the Spanish economic crisis.
It has since been uploaded in advance. Spain, total 1265 WindmillsWind capacity installed in 2021 was 28.1 gigawatts, up from 23.4 gigawatts in 2018, according to industry group AEE.
With a low population density, an adequate legal framework and advanced wind turbines, Spanish wind energy is one of the most “interesting” markets for investors, said PREPA’s general manager, Juan Virgilio Marquez.
Spain is home to several heavy industries such as Iberdrola and Naturgay, and is a major source of wind energy equipment. “It demonstrates the dynamism of the industry,” Marquez said.
Investors outside the energy sector are also interested.
In November, Spaniard Amancio Ortega, founder of fast fashion company Zara and one of the world’s richest men, paid 24.245 million ($268 million) to a wind farm in northeastern Aragon.
Lively bread basket
By 2020, Spain has committed to generating 74 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, up from 47 percent.
To achieve this goal, Spain is committed to developing offshore wind energy, an emerging sector.
But since Spain has thousands of kilometers of coastline, the sea breeze has plenty of places to grow.
“This is an ambitious goal,” said Valverde Sanchez, arguing that government bureaucracy around wind energy projects should be limited to their implementation.
According to PREPA, the government is currently studying about 600 wind energy projects.
As part of a plan to respond to the economic downturn caused by Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, Spain has committed to approving wind power projects of less than 75 megawatts.
“Our country has enough natural resources to become the main producer and source of renewable energy in Europe,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, which will help the European Union achieve its goal of “energy independence.”
Since Russia’s occupation of Ukraine on February 24, Brussels has reduced Russian gas imports from the European Union by two-thirds this year and announced plans to stop using Russian gas by 2027.
Virgilio Marquez said Spain “could become the ‘energy basket’ of Europe.”
© 2022 AFP
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