Spain’s wind power industry has muscle thanks to a 2022 that saw 1,345 wind farms and 22,042 wind turbines in operation
The year 2022 closed as a new successful year for Spanish wind power thanks to the installation of 1,670 MW of renewable power, practically enabling the sector to reach the milestone of 30 GW of installed capacity (29,813 MW to be exact). These figures, provided by the Spanish Wind Energy Association, show that the country is continuing its efforts to implement an energy production network based on renewables, although the rate of installation of wind-generated energy is below that required to achieve the objectives of the integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which should be set at 2.5 GW of wind power per year.
Despite this, the reality is that the Spanish wind energy is responsible for generating 25 % of the country’s electricity thanks to the 22,042 wind turbines distributed across 1,345 wind farms of different types and sizes. These figures mean that 8 % of the wind energy installed in Europe corresponds to that located in Spain, making the Spanish wind energy sector the second most important behind Germany, with 12 % of the wind energy installed, and ahead of the United Kingdom (with 29 GW installed). At European level, wind energy produces more than 17 % of the electricity consumed on the old continent thanks to 255 GW of accumulated wind power, 30 GW of which corresponds to offshore wind power.
On the other hand, and in total terms, wind energy is present in practically all of Spain’s regions, being present in 13 % of Spanish municipalities and occupying only 0.017 % of the country’s total surface area. Thus, the 46 new wind farms and their corresponding 395 wind turbines installed in 2022 have been located in greater proportion in the regions of Castilla-La Mancha, which added 837 MW; Aragon, with 492 MW; and Castilla y León, with 105 MW. According to the Spanish Wind Energy Association, this investment effort has translated into a direct benefit for Spanish citizens, who in addition to enjoying environmentally friendly energy and its direct impact on the environment, have been able to experience a total saving of 8,252 million euros on their electricity bills. The reduction effect of Spanish wind power thus amounts to €31.25/MWh, reducing the average electricity bill by 18 %.
A sector with a great present and an even greater future
In addition, the Spanish wind industry has more than 250 manufacturing centres spread across the seventeen regions, with a comprehensive supply chain that allows the country to become a leader in the manufacture of wind turbines thanks to a manufacturing capacity of 4,000 MW per year, which generates direct employment for 32,000 people. A figure that, according to the AEE itself, is expected to double by 2030. This is in addition to a large group of suppliers in the energy sector with decades of experience, such as Ormazabal and its 30 years of experience in wind energy, and an energy business network with companies such as Iberdrola, Acciona Energía and Naturgy, among others.
Based on the sector’s own forecasts, Spain will add a total of 7.2 GW of wind energy by 2025, with a further 5 GW to be added by 2027 to reach 12.2 GW of new wind power capacity by 2027, which would make the Spanish market one of the most active and attractive on the entire continent. An effort that would bring the Spanish wind power sector’s figures closer to the installation capacity set out in the NECP, reaching 50.3 GW of installed wind power capacity by 2030.