It breaks records in March
Solar PV lights the way to energy transition

A lot has changed since the early 1990s, when solar PV in Spain meant just 0.10 MW of its power generation capacity. Solar PV energy is now claiming its place in the Spanish mix with 8,871 MW of installed capacity.

Spain had an extra 4,158 MW of solar PV installed during 2019, almost double the capacity supplied by this technology in 2018. As more capacity is installed, there is more and more probability of generating electricity from the sun. Solar PV generation capacity hardly changed over the last ten years, but it has just taken an exponential leap and now represents 8% of the complete set of generating facilities in Spain.

These extra 4,000 MW of solar PV capacity feeding into the national electricity system are already beginning to bear fruit. March saw the highest amount of solar PV energy generation since records were kept by Red Eléctrica.

According to provisional data, 1,049 GWh of solar PV electricity were generated in Spain during this month, 29.1% more than in March 2019. Despite the number of daylight hours in March being even less than in the summer months, the solar PV has already flexed its muscles and told us this will be a good summer.

Its dependence on sunlight hours limits this technology’s share of electricity generation in Spain. Only 3.5% of the electricity generated in Spain in 2019 was produced by photovoltaic cells. This percentage will probably be left far behind by the end of the year, as solar PV generation has already accounted for 4.1% of production through to March 2020, and daily sunlight hours in January, February and March are fewer than in the following months.

It's time to shine

As more capacity is installed in Spain, solar PV energy generation will increase, provided that the climate allows it. On 26th March 2020 at 1:02 p.m., solar PV supplied 6,337 MW to the peninsular electricity system, which was 7.4% higher than the previous maximum, recorded on 26th February 2020 at 2:29 p.m.

But that's not all. On 29th March 2020 at 12:09 p.m., a quarter of the GWh generated on the Peninsula came from the sun's rays. Specifically, instantaneous power was 6,095 MW, which represented 25.6% of the entire peninsular generation mix.

This maximum contribution to electricity generation had been exceeded on three occasions over the last 30 days. It demonstrates the tremendous speed at which solar photovoltaic can grow, with greater installed capacity and more hours of sunlight. In fact, March was just the beginning.