Spain is on its way to becoming a desert. It has its obvious downside, but there are also some winners. While the drought destroys agriculture and increases the risk of fires, the photovoltaic energy sector is being one of the main beneficiaries of this situation.
April, month of historical record in solar energy. The photovoltaic production of last April has been impressive. Spain already has a national park of more than 20,000 megawatts of power that has allowed it to produce 3,636 gigawatt hours last April. It is the month that more electricity has ever been produced in this way.
It was sunny practically every day, which has resulted in a generation like no other. Compared to April last year, which was also good, there has been 46.9% more. The result not only of time, but also of the increase in the national park, which last year stood at around 16,300 megawatts of power at this time.
The sunniest month in history. The solar production record has been closely linked to the fact that April has been the month where the Iberian Peninsula It has had more hours of sunshine in history, since there are records. The previous record was 2017 with 294 hours of sunshine, but this past April it has reached 320 hours. Which means about 13.3 hours of sunshine per day.
Enough to supply 54% of the demand during sunny hours. The price of energy in Spain has fallen significantly and much of this is due to the rise of solar energy. Last April there have been multiple days where photovoltaics managed to cover 45% of the demand during the hours of sunshine, reaching up to 54% with peaks of more than 14,000 MWh. For comparison, last year we were at 33%.
The debated gas cap has not been applied during the past month as it was below 56.10 euros/MWh. This has been promoted by the increase in renewable energies, although also a drop in electricity demand of 10.1%.
An unprecedented dry spring that may become normal. This year’s drought is being a disaster. The data from the AEMET place this spring as one of the driest in history since records have been kept and the most worrying thing is that it could begin to be a situation that repeats itself.
As Invertia describes, excess sun is a paradox. On the one hand Spain suffers the consequences of the drought and on the other hand it benefits from unprecedented solar energy.
If we want to take advantage of the sun, we must multiply the panels. It is the notice of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF). The organization calls for an upward revision of the government’s objectives to reach 65 GW of installed power in ground plants before 2030. Bearing in mind that we are now at 20 GW and the objectives set are about 40 GW in 2030.
“The current situation has highlighted the need to revise the PNIEC objectives upwards, and in particular those associated with photovoltaic energy”, explains José Donoso, director of UNEF.
Spain is already one of the great solar powers worldwide. The latest report from the International Energy Agency places Spain in a very important place in terms of installed power. We are the first country in the world in solar penetration rate, with 19.1%. Other countries can produce more in absolute terms, but Spain is the first country in solar energy in relation to demand. The European Union average stands at 8.7%.
Solar panels also serve to alleviate drought. The relationship of solar energy with drought is not just one of cause and effect. The installation of solar panels can also serve to combat drought. According to a proposal by a Californian company, the plates can serve to stop part of the evaporation of water and help cool the soil.
It’s not a far off idea. The community of Regantes de Sur-Andévalo in Huelva has a floating solar plant project that feeds a water pumping system. An irrigation system that provides up to 1.6 MW of power.
Image | Diego Delso
In Xataka | Spain always had everything to become the great solar power. And at last it seems to be fulfilling