The Industry
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The development of the renewable energy industry in Spain begun with the Renewable Energy Promotion Plan (2000-2010), whose primary objective was to generate in 2010 30% of electricity from renewable energy sources and, particularly, half of that electricity from wind power.

On January 1, 2010, wind energy in Spain had a capacity of 19,050 MW, only overpassed by United States, Germany and China. Actually, during 2009, with an electricity production close to 36,000 GWh, wind energy contributed with the 14% of the total coverage of national electricity demand. That year, the wind power installed exceeded 2,500 MW.

The expertise acquired over the last decade, has allowed the wind energy industry (comprised by wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers and numerous companies across the components suplain chain and operation and maintenance activities), at the end of 2008, to had installed 8,000 MW of capacity, specially in the United States and Portugal.

Today, wind industry employs over 40,000 people.

Regarding Solar Photovoltaic energy, Spain is the second country of Europe on istalled power and the first of the world in power per habitant: 75,2 watios per capita.

Only in 2008 2,715 MW were installed, with an increase of 500% regarding the total installed in 2007. That year, Spain was the first country of the world in power installed.

Spain has always been at the forefront of photovoltaic research. An example is the Solar Energy Institute (IES) of the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, a world reference for the last 30 years. More recently, the Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems (ISFOC) of Puertollano (Ciudad Real), which groups the world’s largest fleet of pilot plants for this technology that uses high efficiency cells, with yields exceeding 40% even.

The Spanish photovoltaic sector includes companies that exploit the entire value chain of this industry. The fact that there are several publicly traded companies specialized in renewable energy gives an idea of this industry strengh.

In 2009, photovoltaic solar energy covered about 2,6% of deman, having covered almost 4% in August.

In the field of Solar Thermoelectric energy, of the 307 MW that have been built in the last decade, three quarters (232 MW) are Spanish, and 1,346 MW were under construction in 2009 (of which about 400 MW were operational over 2010) and 843 MW were in advanced promotion. This will allow in 2013 to reach an installed capacity of over 2,400 MW in Spain.

The international renown is another highlight. United States, Algeria, Morocco, Israel, UAE, are countries within Spain carries out termo solar projects, such as the spectacular Solana Central in Arizona (USA) with 280 MW of power.

Concerning the Solar Thermal energy, in 2008, 446,000 square meters were installed, with the accumulated total surface area reaching 1,664,771 square meters.

In Biomass energy, also many investments are being made by different actors, which allows to estimate an increasing production capacity of 10 times in recent years, from 60,000 t/year in 2004, to a production capacity close to 600,000 t/year in 2009.

Regarding electrical appliances in Spain, by-products of pulp are being used, as well as by-products of various industries of wood processing and production of oil and biomass from energy crops or agricultural residues (straw, olive pruning), or from our mountains. Considering all of them, the total installed capacity is over 400 MW.

In relation with the Biogas sector, ProBiogas presented in october 2009 Metaniza, a software tool that optimizes the design of biogas plants and assesses each of the stages of waste treatment from an economic, environmental and energetic point of view.

In 2009 Europe approved three LIFE projects (Biocell, Biogrid and Integral-B) that intend to improve debugging and performance of biogas to inject it into the natural gas network and in cars, or concentrate it on fuel cells.

The 18.7 million cubic meters of biomethane that the Valdemingómez Weir will be injecting annually to the natural gas network in Madrid, would be sufficient to supply 405 buses, about 25% of the entire fleet of Madrid, and if all the energy will be transformed into electricity, it will be enough to cover the consumption of 25,500 households of 4% of the entire industry of the city.

As regards Small Hydro power, in 2009 Spain had 13,521 of hydro power on installations of over 50 MW. Plants between 10 and 50 MW accounted 3,077 MW and other 1,920 MW were produced by small hydro plants, with power below 10 MW.

Spain is the third European Union country in small hydro installed capacity, following Italy and France and fourth in terms of plants with an output exceeding 10 MW.

The technically exploitable hydropower potential in Spain is estimated at 65,600 GWh/year. The half of it have been already developed.

Because of the characteristics of our coast, the largest technology is the wave energy.

National projects under way are: the Santoña project (Cantabria) involving a 40 kW prototype buoy: the first phase of a larger project involving the installation of 10 buoys with a total capacity of 1.4 MW; Project “Calma” in Asturias: an innovative and unique project using home-grown technology to install a 50-MW electricity generation facility developed by the Spanish company, Hidroflot; Project “Pasajes” (Asturias) to commission a highly efficient and cost competitive wave energy device with 500 kW of power; the new seawall in the port of Mutriku (Guipuzcoa) which is based on the oscillating water column principal and involves 16 turbines with a total capacity of 300 kW; a project in Galicia to demonstrate the Pelamis technology; another project to integrate two types of oscillating water column turbines in the La Guardia seawall (Galicia), etc.

The marine infrastructure for researching, demonstrating and operating wave energy converters that will be constructed in Armintza (Vizcaya) is another outstanding example. Referred to as BIMEP (Biscay Marine Energy Platform), this facility will be operational in two years time; it will be designed to have a capacity of up 20 MW, and will require an investment of between Euros 15 and 20 million.

In the Canary Islands, unique scientific-technological infrastructure is also being developed to facilitate access to the deep ocean. This facility will be fully operational in 2011 and will house a laboratory for testing marine energy devices (offshore wind, wave energy, ocean currents, etc.) Granadilla (Tenerife) is another municipality preparing to have a wave energy plant. Furthermore, several technologists are involved in the R&D of a variety of technological solutions, such as Wedge Global, which has developed a process for manufacturing a power takeoff device based on a linear switched reluctance generator (that does not use permanent magnets).

 

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