Red Eléctrica publishes the 'Spanish Electricity System Report 2013'

Red Eléctrica de España today published the "Spanish Electricity System Report 2013”, which includes the most relevant data regarding the activity of the system during the year: nation-wide electricity demand fell for the third consecutive year; prominent role of renewable energy due to high hydroelectric generation and good performance of wind energy; commissioning of 776 kilometres of new transmission lines; growth in installed renewable power capacity, significantly lower than previous years, and the net exporter balance for the tenth consecutive year.

Electricity Demand 

National demand for electrical energy in Spain in 2013 reached 261,023 GWh, a decrease of 2.3% with regard to 2012, bringing it to a level similar to that registered in 2005.

With regard to the Spanish peninsula, the demand for electrical energy stood at 246,313 GWh, 2.3% lower than in 2012 despite experiencing a slight improvement in the last quarter. After factoring in the effects of seasonal and working patterns, a fall of 2.2% was registered.

Demand for electrical energy in non-peninsular systems (Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla) as a whole stood at 14,710 GWh, recording a fall of 2.9% with respect to 2012, year in which a slight improvement had been registered. The decline by systems was: Balearic Islands 2.6%, Canary Islands 3%, Ceuta 4.8% and Melilla 3.5%.

Demand coverage

Renewable energies, favoured by high hydroelectric energy generation and good performance of wind energy generation throughout the year, registered an all-time high in the coverage of the total peninsular demand with a contribution of 42.2% of the total. Wind energy covered 21.2% compared to 18.1% in 2012, ranking, for the first time ever, first in the lead with nuclear, which fell one point from the previous year.

Hydroelectric energy also increased, doubling its contribution by covering 14.2% of peninsular demand. In contrast, the contribution of coal and combined cycle to demand coverage decreased to 14.6% and 9.5%, respectively, compared with 19.3% and 14.1% in 2012.

The increase in renewables together with the drop in coal-fired generation has represented a reduction in CO2 emissions arising from electricity generation, which reached 60 million tonnes, 24.8% lower than 2012.

In relation to non-peninsular systems, 22.4% of the demand on the Balearic Islands’ was covered with energy received through the submarine link with the Peninsula, while coal-fired and combined cycle technologies reduced their contribution to 42.3% and 7.5%, respectively, compared to 46.9% and 15.4% in 2012. In the Canary Islands, combined cycles increased their contribution to 35.2% (32.4% in 2012), to the detriment of fuel-gas with 57.1% compared to 60.5% in 2012.

Installed renewable power capacity increases

Total installed power capacity of the power generating stations that comprise the peninsular system, increased in 2013 by 669 MW, 0.7% more than in 2012, reaching 102,395 MW. This increase in capacity, significantly lower than in recent years, is mainly due to new renewable facilities: solar (350 MW thermoelectric and 103 MW photovoltaic) and wind power (237 MW).

Total installed power capacity in non-peninsular systems stood at 5,870 MW. This increase is divided between 50 MW in the Balearic Islands and 30 MW in the Canary Islands, the majority fuel-gas fired stations.

776 kilometres of new line

During 2013, 776 km of new transmission line was put in service, meaning that at the end of the year the national transmission grid totalled 42,140 km.

The availability rate of the transmission grid on the Spanish peninsula reached 98.13%, slightly higher than the 97.79% registered in 2012. In the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, the availability rate was 97.97% and 98.32% respectively (98.07% and 98.83% in 2012).

International exchanges

Scheduled international exchanges increased to 23,153 GWh, representing a fall of 2.4% with respect to 2012. Exports fell to 14,944 GWh (14.4% less than the previous year), whilst imports increased to 8,209 GWh (30.9% higher than in 2012).

For the tenth consecutive year, the balance of electricity exchange programmes was that of exporter, although it registered a drop of 39.8% with regard to 2012, 6,736 GWh in 2013 compared to 11,187 GWh in 2012.

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