The Canary Islands are on the verge of exceeding their first gigawatt of operational installed renewable power. As of May 16, 960.6 megawatts were installed. To this figure must be added the 33.40 megawatts of wind power and 6.9 megawatts of photovoltaic distributedin installations that have already completed their construction and have applied for commissioning or have provisional permits. In total, 1,000.9 megawatts installed.
In four years,renewable capacity has increased by 345.9 megawatts. The commissioning of the capacity distributed in the Eolcan I (June 2019), Eolcan II (May 2021) and Solcan (March 2021) calls has become definitive.
If the previous one was the one of the unblocking - practically nothing was installed since 1996 - by the hand of the then councilor Pedro Ortega -nowadays president of the Canary Islands Confederation of Entrepreneurs (CCE)-, this legislature has been the one of the consolidation of a trend to which the decarbonization objectives set by the Archipelago itself and the European Union (EU) oblige.
The 345.9 megawatts put into service since 2019 exceed by 29.9% the power installed during the period 2015-2019. The increase in the presence of clean energy in four years - starting from 266.3 megawatts - has been 56.3%.
Disaggregating by type of energy, wind is the great protagonist, with 612.74 megawatts (16.44% of the electricity mix). It is followed, in this order, by photovoltaic, 325.75 megawatts (3.82%); hydro-wind, 11.32 (0.23%); hydro, 2.02 (0.04%), and the remaining 8.75 megawatts coming from biogas. Therefore, the installed power from renewable sources represents 28.6% of the total installed power in the Canary Islands, with 960.6 megawatts out of a total of 3,356.1.
Every day this year, 20 new self-consumption installations have been installed on the islands.
The figures by islands show that Gran Canaria, with 378.65 megawatts, and Tenerife, with 373.65, account for 78% of the total renewable power in the Canary Islands. They are followed by Fuerteventura, with 103.36, and Lanzarote, with 52.12 megawatts. This year, La Gomera has registered a significant increase, going from only 1.4 megawatts to 15.73 megawatts. The start-up of five wind farms, with a total of 11.75 megawatts of power, has been the differentiating factor. Finally, El Hierro has 23.63 megawatts and La Palma has 15.73 megawatts.
During the past year, electricity production from renewable sources exceeded 85.2% of that in 2018. It was just at the end of that year (December 28) when Ortega announced the completion of 32 new wind farms that allowed a 154.54% jump during that legislature. The new push given during the present one has allowed a 13.9% reduction in thermal production, heat provided by the combustion of oil.
One thing is the installed power and another the volume of generation that can be met with it. The Canary Islands is a good example of this until infrastructures come into operation that allow the storage of surplus renewable energy generated, as in the case of Salto de Chira. At present, the wind turbines have to be stopped at night because there is not enough demand to meet production. No matter how much installed renewable power there is, not all the generation it generates can be harnessed. For this reason, the percentage when measuring this variable is lower. Thus, the 28.6% presence of renewables in the mix in terms of power translates into a 20.6% role when it comes to generating the electricity that reaches homes and businesses in the archipelago.
One of the great leaps made by the Islands in these four years has been in photovoltaic self-consumption. Gran Canaria currently has 40.97 megawatts installed (3.29 in 2019); Tenerife, 34.75 (1.50 megawatts four years ago); Lanzarote, 11.63 (1.78); Fuerteventura, 10.62 (1.38); La Palma, 3.93 (0.70); La Gomera, 1.32 (0.04); and El Hierro has installed its first 0.78 megawatts in these four years.
The total number of installations of these characteristics that are operational in the autonomous community as a whole amounts to 11,218, a figure that multiplies by more than 31 the 360 existing installations in July 2019. The take-off of self-consumption in the heat of the bet that the administrations have also made for it -subsidies- is of great dimension. It is enough to know that during the time that has elapsed this year, the rate of execution is 20 new installations every day.
of the electricity mix
- Clean sources of electricity generation are very close to occupying 30% of the total mix of the electricity systems serving the autonomous community.
Gran Canaria and Tenerife
- Gran Canaria and Tenerife account for 78% of the renewable power installed to date in the archipelago. Between them they add up to just over 752 clean megawatts.
- The Canary Islands climate change law passed last year sets 2040 as the date by which the autonomous community will have to achieve decarbonization.