Renewables contribute 50.7% to Spanish electricity grid in May

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Solar PV power systems contributed to 11.4% of Spain’s power mix last month, setting a new record for monthly production, according to new data from grid operator Red Eléctrica de España.

The company said that just over half (50.7%) of the country’s power generation in May came from renewable energy resources. This, it said, was driven by wind power, which was responsible for close to a quarter (23.4%) of electricity production for the month.

Solar PV systems saw a significant jump in demand last month, the grid operator said, supplying 2,332GWh of electricity and rising by 42.4% compared to the same period last year. Solar PV generation peaked on 29 May, according to the operator’s monthly data report, producing 89GWh of power and contributing to 14.7% of the day’s total electricity mix.

Solar’s share of the electricity supply has risen significantly as new utility-scale assets have come online this year. Developers Enel Green Power, Ellomay Capital and Encavis all completed projects at the start of 2021, collectively bringing 600MW of PV capacity to Spain’s grid.

Overall electricity demand for may was also up 11.1% compared with last year, and 12.5% after factoring in how working patterns have changed compared with 2020. However, electricity demand is down 3% compared with May 2019, before COVID-19 travel restrictions significantly affected power use across the country.

Solar is set to become more instrumental in Spain’s power mix over the next decade after the government included a target of 39.2GW of installed PV capacity in the country’s national energy and climate plan (NECP). As well as being home to one of Europe’s most prolific power purchase agreement (PPA) markets, the country’s solar industry received a second boost after a new auction mechanism was launched that may bring 10GW of PV capacity online in the next four years.

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