Despite being the technology with the major installed capacity in the country (25,353 MW), combined cycles are those proportionally less contributing to the overall mix (8.5%), according to the 2014 Preliminary Report by REE. The report also highlights that last year only renewable thermal increased by 3.6% in installations compared to 2013 and photovoltaic recorded an extremely slight increase (0.1%).
The year 2014 is going to be remembered for its standstill. Standstill in mainland electricity demand, which does not recover, and it does for already four years in a row, standstill in peninsular installed capacity, with a slight variation of 0.1% compared to 2013 and standstill in renewable generation, which even has decreased by 1%. These are the data from the 2014 Preliminary Report of the Spanish Electricity System by Red Eléctrica de España (REE) reflecting a situation that is very similar to that in 2013.
Annual electricity balance
According to the report, CHP (19.1% less compared to 2013) and combined cycles (12.4% less compared to 2013) are those that have contributed least to the annual electricity balance in the peninsular system. Behind these technologies, renewable thermal follow, with a decrease of 6.4% and wind, with a 6.1% decrease over the previous year.
And although CSP (12.9%), coal (10.2%), hydro (5%) and slightly nuclear (0.6%) had a positive performance in their contribution to the mainland generation compared to 2013, renewable energies (wind, hydro, solar) maintained during 2014 a prominent role in the global energy production in the electrical system in Spain, covering 42.8% of total production, compared to 42, 2% of 2013.
In non-peninsular systems, wind, small hydro, renewable thermal and cogeneration have increased their contribution to the electrical system as opposed to coal, fuel and gas power plants and other non-renewable fuel power plants.
The highlight of this section is almost no variation in installed capacity in Spain, both in the mainland system and the non-peninsular. The greatest decrease was registered in the coal which has reduced its capacity by 159 MW, 1.4% less, following the closure of the Escucha power plant.
Renewable thermal, ie plants generating electricity from the combustion of biomass, meanwhile, has had a slight increase of 3.6% in installed capacity in 2014. The contribution of biomass generation sector for electric generation has experienced a slow but positive evolution over the past decade. From 2005-2013 it has been represented by an upward curve, reaching 848 MW of installed capacity and 4,623 GWh of energy sold in 2013, according to the CNMC.
However, taking into account that electric bioenergy only contributed 874 out of the 32,612 MW of renewable energy installed in Spain in 2013, its growth and contribution to the energy mix in 2014 is still scarce.
A demand that does not pick
Since 1998 (173,155 GWh), mainland electricity demand has experienced rapid and steady growth until 2008 (265,173 GWh), when it suffered a slight setback, highly marked in 2009 (252,608 GWh) and since then it has remained at levels of the early years of the century. However, the decline is easing, and in 2014 it was slightly lower, only 1.2% that the decline recorded last year which stood at 2.2%. According to Red Eléctrica, this is due to a slight recovery in economic activity.
In 2014, the mainland electricity demand ended the year at 243,486 GWh, a figure similar to 2005, when it amounted to 247,295 GWh.