Spain's Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has announced that the country is to hold a 3-GW renewable energy auction in the first half of 2017.
Spain is currently far ahead of forecast targets for achieving the goal of 20% renewables in its total energy consumption by 2020. The country posted a 17.3% penetration rate by renewables in final energy consumption in 2014, including biofuels. This compares with the forecast rate of 12.1%. The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism forecasts a similar figure for 2015. Bearing in mind that it was a year of lower-than-average water resources and little wind, this confirms an upward trend in penetration by renewables.
According to Eurostat, Spain has a higher rate of penetration by renewables than the European Union average. Furthermore, Spain is ahead of most of the countries in the same peer group (such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or Belgium), both in terms of having a higher rate of penetration by renewables and because it is closer to achieving its target for 2020.
The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism estimates that, with the measures adopted in recent years, Spain will show a penetration rate by renewables in total energy consumption of approximately 18.5% to 19% by 2020.
A number of actions have been taken in recent years to foster the penetration of renewables: auction of new wind power (500 MW) and biomass power (200 MW); introduction of wind power in the Canary Islands (450 MW); specific tax regime for biogas, biomass, cogeneration and hydro-power (120 MW); increased penetration target for biofuels in the automotive industry (up to 8.5% by 2020), etc.
In terms of the electricity system, the penetration by renewables in the generation mix has continued to grow in recent years. In the first half of 2016, 50.6% of the electricity produced was of renewable origin. Furthermore, solar (photovoltaic and thermo-solar) technologies have grown from accounting for 3.4% of the generation mix in 2011 to 5% in 2015 (even rising to 5.6% in 2016 to date).