Spanish solar power topped 8% penetration in July

Statistics published this week by the Spanish electricity board show that solar power provided more than 8% of Spain’s electricity in July.

Overall demand for power in Spain last month rose by 0.1% year-on-year to reach 21,104 GWh, with renewables reaching a combined 37.6% penetration – driven largely by wind power, which provided 3,658 GWh of electricity. That figure represented an increase of 28.7% on last year, and was 16.8% of the overall energy generation mix.

Solar PV accounted for 4.3% of the energy share, slightly ahead of concentrated solar power (CSP), which enjoyed a 4% share of the energy mix. With nuclear power grouped in with renewables, the figures show that 55.3% of Spain’s electricity generation in July produced zero C02 emissions.

Spain’s electricity board also published data for the first six months of the year that showed solar PV managed a 3.3% average share of the energy mix for the first half of the year, beaten by CSP on 7.3%, and wind power on 22.2%.

The abolition of Spain’s feed-in tariff (FIT) in 2013 hit solar PV extremely hard, stripping the sector of confidence and return on investment. A recently filed legislation amendment to the country’s renewable energy law (the RD413/2014, passed in June), is likely to yield even more regressive measures for Spain’s solar PV industry, with the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) warning that the measures will harm approximately 30% of PV projects, stripping their income potential by around 40%.