30 June 2007

Spanish wind power - an example to follow

Spain now ranks as the world's second biggest producer of wind energy after Germany and is a front runner in other renewable energies including solar power and bio fuels. Because of this, Spanish energy companies have become world leaders in terms of global investment, installed capacity and technological innovation.

A case in point was March 20 this year. A typically windy day for most people, but for the Spain's renewable energy sector it was an unforgettable day when favourable gusts from the Atlantic increased wind energy production to a new record.

Spain's wind turbines produced 8,375 megawatts of power, representing 27 per cent of the countries total electricity. Just over 72 per cent of the country's total installed wind capacity of 11,500MW was pumping power into the national grid. The savings in terms of imported coal and gas along with the reduced CO2 emissions would have been significant.

An important factor in the growth of renewables has been Spain's early adoption, in common with Germany, of tariff premiums. The system provides renewable producers with a guarantee that all the electricity they produce will be purchased by distribution companies at different premiums over the market price depending on the type of renewable energy involved. By offering producers an attractive return and providing a guarantee of stable income for them to raise bank finance, the system has encouraged big investments and resulted in remarkable growth, particularly in wind energy.

Why the Australian Government struggles to come to terms with the enormous impact that renewable energy can have on the energy supply mix remains a mystery to us. With Australia's climatic variations the options for solar and wind are enormous.

via Treehugger, FT

1 comment:

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