Wind Energy in Spain
Spain Soaring Toward Energy Independence
On the edge of a new Europe full of green energy advances, Spain is blowing through one landmark after another. This week, wind energy output in Spain surged to nearly half of the total national grid demand.
Spanish wind farms churned out 9,862 megawatts of electricity last Saturday, which combined with lower Easter holiday energy use to give wind a 40.8% share of all national consumption.
No wonder Spain is considered one of the top four markets in the world for wind energy, according to Ernst & Young's Renewable Energy Attractiveness Index. Wind energy is now on par with the country's long-standing hydropower base, with towering turbines equaling dam generation for the first time in 2007.
Spain is zooming towards energy independence, aiming for 29 GW of wind capacity by 2016 and 40 GW by 2020, up from 13 GW today.
As for the Easter week's wind energy record of 40%, consider that the European Union mandate for clean energy grid contribution is 20% . . . by 2020!
Spain just proved that it can double that target from one source, twelve years ahead of time.
European history turned the Spanish crown from the head of a vast empire of international explorers and profiteers into a weakened monarchy beached on the shores of Britain and Ireland in the time of the Spanish Armada.
Today, Spain's new age of international power is starting with renewables.
The Royal Decree for a New Age of Wind Energy in Spain
The Spanish government issued Royal Decree 661 in 2007, letting wind energy system operators choose between a 20-year fixed payment of 7.3 cents per KW/h or a market-linked price that would earn a 2.9 cent premium for a 20-year period, on top of whatever the grid pays.
Madrid's commitment has stimulated a gaggle of companies to invest in wind energy not only in Spain but elsewhere in Europe, and the Madrid Stock Exchange is home to a growing number of publicly-traded Spanish wind pioneers.
In our new Green Chip International portfolio, we're holding two outstanding plays on Spain's strong wind-driven momentum, and we expect double-digit gains on these and upcoming plays in just a matter of months.
Within a few years these early-stage Spanish wind energy stocks will be titans of the European energy scene.
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