Red Eléctrica publishes the ‘Spanish Electricity System - Preliminary Report’
Demand for electrical energy on the Spanish Peninsula continues its recovery with a growth of 1.2% in 2017
  • Renewable technologies contributed 33% to electricity production on the Spanish peninsula due to the lower share of hydro in the generation mix.

The demand for electrical energy on the Spanish Peninsula in 2017, with data estimated at year end, stands at 253,082 GWh, with a growth of 1.2% compared to the previous year. After factoring in the seasonal and working patterns, demand has increased 1.7% compared to 2016. In this way, the peninsular demand has continued with the growth trend started in 2015 after four consecutive years of decreases.

Only 33.3% of electricity production on the Spanish Peninsula came from renewable sources, compared to 40.8% the previous year. These are the worst figures of the last five years and is the result of the impact that the drought has had on hydroelectric production, which has registered a fall of 48.4% compared to the previous year.

Red Eléctrica publishes this information in the ‘Spanish Electricity System - Preliminary Report 2017’ and that provides in advance the annual result of the behaviour of the electricity system during this year; a period marked by lower rainfall and that in turn has required a greater prominence of non-renewable generation in order to cover the demand.

Annual evolution of the peninsular electricity demand


The maximum instantaneous power, at the time of drafting this report, was recorded on 18 January at 7:50 pm when it reached 41,381 MW, a value 2.2% higher than the maximum registered in 2016, but still far from the all-time record of 45,450 MW set in December 2007. The maximum hourly demand was also registered on 18 January, between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm, when it reached 41,015 MWh, a value 2.2% higher than the maximum registered in 2016.

Demand coverage

Regarding demand coverage, noteworthy was the decline in the contribution of hydro (7% compared to 14.2% the previous year), which has been replaced by a greater contribution of coal (17% compared to 13.9% in 2016) and combined cycle (13.9% compared to 10.2% in 2016). As for the technologies that have contributed most to demand coverage, nuclear has again ranked first with a contribution of 21.5%, followed by wind with 18.2%.

In addition, it should also be noted that close to 4% of the demand has been covered with energy imported from other countries.


Installed power fell due to the closure of Garoña nuclear power station

The total number of electricity generating facilities in Spain decreased in 2017 for the second consecutive year, ending the year with 104,517 MW of installed power capacity, 0.6% less than the previous year. This decrease was mainly due to the definitive closure of the Santa María de Garoña 455 MW nuclear power station, a facility that had remained inactive since the end of 2012. Variations in other technologies have been either nil or insignificant.

Non-peninsular systems

Annual demand for electricity in the set of non-peninsular systems closed 2017, with data estimated at year end, at 15,422 GWh, representing a growth of 2.6% over the previous year. The demand by system was as follows: the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Melilla grew by 3.8%, 2% and 1.1% respectively, while in Ceuta it fell by 4.1%.

International electricity exchange balance was as an importer for the second consecutive year

The balance of international exchanges has been an importer for the second consecutive year after more than ten years registering an exporter balance.


215 km of new electricity line

According to provisional data, the electricity transmission grid registered an increase of 215 km of new circuit, 139 km (110 km of 400 kV and 29 km of 220 kV), on the Spanish Peninsula, bringing the total km of circuit in the peninsular transmission grid at the end of the year to 40,769 km.


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