Galicia exported 40% of its total electricity production in 2022
March 24, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras
The trickle of storms since the end of last year allowed Galicia to finally say goodbye to a prolonged drought alert that is still active in much of Spain. There was water and wind again. So much so that the community became in recent months the community with the highest electricity production from reservoirs and even came close to the first place in the national total generation historically occupied by Catalonia for its enormous nuclear potential in February, when the electricity bill plummeted thanks to the strong renewable contribution. But the rest of 2022 was very dry. Hydroelectric plants cut their contribution to the electricity system by around 50% and wind power held slightly above the previous year because no new farms were installed either. The share of renewables in the electricity mix in the community moved away from the 70% it used to exceed and stood at 64.8%, according to the balance presented yesterday by Red Eléctrica, of the Redeia group. Despite the slack due to weather conditions, Galicia was the third community that produced more green production with enough muscle to export 40% of all electricity to the rest of the country and northern Portugal: 8,551 gigawatt hours (GWh).
Total production amounted to 22,415 GWh. Wind power, as FARO reported, was the undisputed leader. Its activity increased by 1.7% to 9,729 GWh, 43.4% of annual generation. It was followed by the two gas combined cycle plants (22.65), hydro (18.5%), cogeneration (7.5%) and coal, in clear retreat, in spite of the As Pontes plant being temporarily turned on to help balance the system due to the current energy crisis (3.8%).
Demand continues to fall
What happened to demand, a thermometer of activity, but heavily influenced at this time in Galicia by the shutdown of Alcoa, the country's largest consumer of electricity, and by the savings and efficiency measures put in place to get through the winter? It fell by another 24% and remains 27% below pre-pandemic levels. 13,359 GWh were consumed. Statewide it was down 2.4%. "In the first weeks of 2022, before the start of the war in Ukraine, expectations pointed to a continuation of the recovery of activity after the pandemic, despite the appearance of disruptions in global supply chains and the rise in price of numerous raw materials - Red Eléctrica's technicians explain -. The war meant an increase in uncertainty, with a clear effect on raw material prices, which led to questioning the forecasts for growth in activity that had been made, although, subsequently, the good performance of activity has led to overall activity during the year being higher than expected".
"We have to get to 2026 with 67% renewable energy and we are in 2023 with 50%."
Beatriz Corredor - President of Redeia
The president of Redeia hopes that this year the "magic figure" of 50% of electricity from clean technologies can be reached, a "milestone on the path to compliance with the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). "We have to reach 2026 with 67% renewable energy and we are in 2023 with 50%, we do not have much time" notedBeatriz Corredor. "We are going to do it by developing the transport network -she added- and aligning the structures technologically, efficiently, with measures that allow us to integrate renewables".