The Government of Castile and León has announced the installation of two gigawatts of wind power and two gigawatts of photovoltaic power to strengthen its role as the leading producer of renewable energy in Spain
The Regional Ministry of Economy and Finance of Castile and León has announced in a press release that it plans to increase the region’s renewable energy generation capacity by 4 GW by 2023, taking the 5,600 MW of photovoltaic capacity installed in 2019 to 7,600 MW by 2023; and the same increase is envisaged for wind power capacity, the 500 MW installed in 2019 rising to 2,500 MW by 2023. This plan aims to underpin Castile and León’s commitment to renewable energy at a time when electricity generation in the Region has grown by 13.88% over the past year, compared with a 3.34% decline in national output over the same period of time. Furthermore, Castile and León produced 56.46% of the Spain’s renewable electricity in 2020 and consolidated its position as a net exporter of energy, accounting for 10% of the country’s total gross electricity production.
The Regional Government of Castile and León plans to boost its renewable energy capacity by just over 4,000 megawatts. The clean energy installation commitment for this term of office is to increase photovoltaic energy by 2,000 megawatts, from the 5,600 MW installed in 2019 to 7,600 MW by 2023; and the same increase will also apply to wind power, from 500 MW in 2019 to 2,500 MW by 2023. The planned 50 MW increase in forest biomass electricity capacity has already been installed thanks to the commissioning of an electricity production plant in Cubillos del Sil (province of León).
According to the government’s own figures, the Region currently has 6,289 MW of wind power capacity and 883 MW of installed solar photovoltaic capacity.
The increase in Castile and León’s electricity output is due, among other reasons, to a significant presence of renewable energy production in the Region, its contribution through large hydro accounting for 25.26% of national energy production; wind, in which the Region is leader in installed capacity in Spain, with almost 23% of the national total; and a growing photovoltaic contribution to the electricity system, amounting to 7.29% of domestic output.
Likewise, household electricity consumption during the pandemic has increased by 3%, from 2.9 million MWh in 2019 to 3 million MWh in 2020, as a result of periods of lockdown and, of course, all activity related to teleworking. On the other hand, electricity consumption for industrial use and services fell by 8.5% for the same reasons. As a consequence, total electricity consumption in Castile and León fell by 5.8% in the aforementioned period, very similar to the decrease in Spain as a whole, which was 5.1%.
A new energy strategy in Castile and León for 2021-2030
Meanwhile, the Regional Ministry of Economy and Finance is drafting the New Energy Efficiency Strategy of Castile and León 2021-2030. This document, produced by the Regional Energy Agency (EREN) in line with the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC), will be published during the second half of 2021.
The targets that this new strategy aims to reach are a 23% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with respect to 1990; a 42% share of renewables in energy end-use, double the 20% of 2020; a 39.5% improvement in energy efficiency in the next decade, and a 74% share of renewables in the electricity sector, consistent with a shift towards a 100% renewable electricity sector by 2050.