Spain’s grid-connected PV capacity reaches 4.72 GW

Spain had reached a cumulative grid-connected installed PV power of 4.674 MW as of the end of December 2016, according to a report on the development of renewable energies in the country published by the Spanish grid operator Red Eléctrica de España. This capacity corresponds to approximately 6.6% of Spain’s total power generation capacity.

All the PV systems installed in the country were able to cover 3.1% of its total power demand last year, while renewable energies were able to reach a 39% share in power production and a 45% quota in the total installed generation capacity.

Wind power remains the largest renewable energy source with 23 GW of installed capacity, followed by hydropower with 17.0 GW and solar at 4.72 GW. Wind and hydro covered around 47.3% and 35.5% of total renewable energy power production, respectively, while solar had a share of 7.9%.

The regions with the largest amount of PV capacity at the end of last year are Castilla-La Mancha (923 MW), Andalucía (871.6 MW), Extremadura (561 MW), Castilla y León (494 MW) and Murcia (439 MW), while the regions with the lowest level of development are the northern regions of Asturias (1 MW), Cantabria (2 MW), Galicia (16 MW) and País Vasco (26 MW).

In the Canary Islands the installed PV power at the end of last year was 166 MW, while the archipelago of the Balearic Islands had 78 MW.

According to data recently released by the Spanish solar association UNEF, Spain saw the addition of new PV systems with a combined capacity of 55 MW in 2016. In the previous year, the newly installed PV power was approximately 49 MW.

Overall, the country’s total installed PV capacity had reached 4.729 MW at the end of last year. This also includes 55 MW of operational off-grid PV systems which are not taken into account in REE’s statistics.

Solar has had a very limited development in Spain since 2012, when a moratorium on incentives for new renewable energy installations was implemented. Specifically, it suspended both earmarking procedures and incentives for new installations.

The Spanish government, however, will now hold a 3 GW auction for large-scale solar and wind power projects, in which PV is finally expected to see a considerable quota of assigned installed capacity. In a previous auction held in May no solar project was finally selected and wind developers secured 2.99 GW of the 3 GW of allocated capacity.