solar thermal electric

Spanish government green lights 6,000 MW of wind and 2,040 MW of solar thermal electric power

The news was announced in a press release issued by Spain’s Council of Ministers in which it sets out a three-year roadmap for these technologies. According to the proposed calendar, by the end of the current term of office, Spain will have reached an average of 3,300 MW of installed renewable energy capacity per annum; doubling the average during the 2000-2003 term of office (1,511 MW) and also exceeding the 2,295 MW installed per annum during the 2004-2007 term.

The Spanish government has given consent for the installation of more than 3,700 MW of wind power and 850 MW of solar thermal electric generation (STEG) capacity to be brought on line between 2009 and the end of 2010. Once installed, Spain will benefit from an impressive 20,155 MW of wind power and 861 MW of STEG. Furthermore, the Government has approved an agreement that will enable an additional 1,700 MW of wind and 500 MW of STEG to be installed each year until 2010, plus an additional 540 MW of STEG in 2013.

The Government adds in the press release that, “it understands the best way of guaranteeing the development of renewable energies – which are so important to a country as our own that relies considerably on energy imports – is to ensure that it progresses in a continuous and orderly manner through legislation that enables renewables to grow in a reasonable and assumable way”.

The agreement therefore establishes “the orderly inscription over the coming years of wind and STEG on the register of preliminary assignment of remuneration developed by Royal Decree 6/2009”.

Exceeding expectations

This royal decree establishes the possibility of drawing up a calendar for the gradual installation of any pre-registered capacity exceeding the target established in Spain's 2005-2010 Renewable Energies Plan, in order to ensure the technical and economic stability of the electric system. This has been the case, adds the Government, with much of the wind and STEG capacity that has been pre-registered. Over 6,000 MW of wind and 2,300 MW of STEG capacity has been pre-registered, when the targets for 2010 only amounted to 3,700 MW and 489 MW, respectively.

Consequently, the aforementioned roadmap has been drawn up to install more than 1,700 MW of wind power up to 2012, which will mean maintaining the rhythm of installation achieved in previous years. Equally, a target of 500 MW per annum has been established for STEG up to 2012 (more than 540 MW in 2013), i.e. the same capacity will be installed each year as was established for the entire period in the 2005-2010 Renewable Energies Plan.

The press release concludes that, “the Council of Ministers has approved an agreement that will permit the gradual installation over the coming three years of 6,000 MW of wind power and 2,040 MW of STEG”.

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