The latest monthly report on generation and demand (for the month of November) published by Red Eléctrica de España, the national electricity system operator, contains many striking data. To begin with, Spain's electricity demand has fallen, in gross terms, by more than nine points (-9.1% compared to November last year). Red Eléctrica de España (REE) corrects the data every month, based on a series of criteria related to labor and temperatures, and this November, once these corrections have been applied, it estimates that the drop in demand has been almost seven points (-6.8%). This drop, more than considerable, is one of the two most relevant data of the month. The other is the formidable contribution of wind power to the mix in November. The tramontana, the galerna, the trade winds and the Levante produced no less than 31% of the demand in this eleventh month of the year. Almost one out of every three kilowatt hours was therefore brought by wind, its highest share since December 2020.
Far behind are the combined cycle power plants (which burn gas to produce electricity), with 22.0%, and nuclear power plants, which have not generated even twenty percent of the total (19.5%).
Demand, in these last eleven months
According to provisional data -explained from REE-, in the first eleven months of 2022, and "once corrected for the influence of the calendar and temperatures", demand is 2.8% lower than that recorded in the previous year. During this time, the national electricity system has registered a gross demand of 230,264 gigawatt hours, 1.8% less than in the same period of 2021. November demand was 19,495 GWh (-9.1%, compared to November last year).
Renewable sources of electricity produced 5.6% more this November than in the same month of 2021, reaching 10,200 GWh, which represents 46.9% of the mix. Wind generation in November was 6,733 GWh and accounted for 31% of the total, its highest share since December 2020. Meanwhile, solar PV, with 1,518 GWh recorded in this month, increased its production by 12.6% over last year and obtained a 7% share of the mix. Hydro increased by 16% compared to November 2021, to produce 1,392 GWh. [Below these lines, the distribution of generation. Source: REE].
November 21, historical maximum record for wind power
The wind allowed wind power production to reach 416 GWh on Monday, November 21, with which it obtained a 52.8% share of the total daily energy generated, the highest share of this technology since Red Eléctrica has had daily records. In fact, on November 21 at 8:55 p.m., Spanish wind turbines produced 20,607 MW in an instant, setting a new record.
On the peninsula
In the peninsular electricity system, demand in November was 7.1% lower than in November 2021, taking into account the effects of working hours and temperatures (18,379 GWh, 9.4% less than that recorded in the same month of 2021 in gross terms).
In the first eleven months of 2022 and after correcting for the influence of working hours and temperature, demand is 3.4% lower than that recorded in the same period of the previous year.
During this month and according to data estimated to date, 48.6% of peninsular generation was of renewable origin and 70% came from technologies that do not emit CO2 equivalent. For its part, wind generated 18.9% more than in the same period of the previous year and registered 6,628 GWh with which it contributed 32% of the total, while solar photovoltaic, with 7.1% of the mix, has increased its production by 11.6% compared to November 2021.
On the islands
In the Balearic Islands, electricity demand in November decreased by 8.4% once the effects of labor and temperatures were taken into account. In gross terms, monthly demand is estimated at 362,716 MWh, 11.2% lower than that recorded in November 2021.
In terms of generation, it was the combined cycle, with 77% of the energy produced in the Balearic Islands, the first source of the islands in November. For its part, renewable energy and without CO2 equivalent emissions generated in the Balearic community represents 8.9% of the total. In addition, during this month, the submarine link between the mainland and Majorca contributed to covering 15.3% of the Balearic Islands' electricity demand.
On the other hand, in the Canary Islands, the demand for electricity, after taking into account working hours and temperatures, increased by 2.5% compared to the same month of the previous year. In gross terms, demand amounted to 722,887 MWh, 2.7% higher.
As regards electricity generation in the Canary Islands, combined cycle, with 44.1% of the total, was also the main source of generation this month, while renewables and emission-free technologies accounted for 18% of production, with solar photovoltaic being the technology that contributed most to the Canary Islands mix, with 14.4% of the total.