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Spain Looks To Cut Soaring Power Prices With More Renewables

Spain, one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in Europe, is looking to award 3.3 gigawatts (GW) of new wind and solar capacity as it wants to reduce high power prices, which skyrocketed in Europe this year.

The Spanish government expects that the additional supply of electricity will help it cut the power prices, Bloomberg reports.

Spain, as well as the whole of Europe, has recently seen a surge in power prices amid rallying natural gas prices and record levels of carbon prices.

Spain’s answer to high power prices is more renewables, as the government looks to accelerate solar and wind power auctions to have more electricity supply to choose from. More clean energy auctions are expected to bring relief to power consumers, according to the government quoted by Bloomberg.

“The objective is to continue auctioning renewable energy, to push for the transformation of the power system in an orderly manner,” Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition, told reporters, as carried by Bloomberg.

In its previous auction, Spain allocated in January this year 3 GW to new wind and solar power capacity, with offers of 9.7 GW exceeding three times the procurement capacity, pv magazine reported earlier this year. Just over 2 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity and nearly 1 GW of wind power capacity were awarded in Spain’s auction in January 2021.

Last month, as much as 46.1 percent of Spain’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, transmission grid operator Red Eléctrica said in early August. Of the renewable energy, 18.9 percent came from wind power, 11.4 percent from solar PV, and 9.9 percent from hydropower.

“In Spain, the costs of generating electricity from existing fossil gas and hard coal plants are triple those for new onshore wind (€31.7/MWh) and double those for new solar PV (€39/MWh),”climate and energy think tank Ember said in its European Electricity Review for the first half of 2021.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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