Unfortunately, for most countries, including these with the strongest world economies, coal is still used as the main power provider. But most, does not mean all. Spain just released figures, indicating that in 2013, the biggest portion of power has been generated by wind, closely followed by nuclear and only at third place is coal.
The statistics were compiled by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), wind power generation increased by 13.2% compared to the previous year. Another interesting observation is that although in 2013 nuclear produced more energy in total- 2,337 GWh more than the 54,478 GWh generated by wind, the nuclear facilities use more energy during operation and therefore this power source supplied less energy to the grid. Not only that wind power reached its maximum production to date over the past year, but it also reached a record in instantaneous power in February, 2013.
In total, around 42.4% of the energy produced in Spain for the past year, was generated by renewable sources. The breakdown in numbers: Wind power generated 20.9%, hydroelectric power- 14.4%, combined-cycle plant power- 9.6% and solar power-3.1%. In comparison, nuclear and coal contributed with 20.8% and 14.6% respectively.
This news is not only brilliant for Spain itself, but it also brings hope that more countries will follow the example. I, personally, find it strange that in the sunniest country in Europe, solar contributes so little to the grid, but it could only mean that this sector is slightly behind and will soon catch up with the others. But in general, the huge success for renewables that marked 2013 could only indicate that the sector will continue to blossom in the coming year, and who knows, the 100% power from renewables could well be reached sooner than we think.
Image (c) AEE