Page 49 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 49
Summer 2014 European Energy Innovation 49


Wind energy in Spain

makes Europe’s dream come true

By Heikki Willstedt, Energy Policy Director of the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE)

Wind power was energy has multiplied by 6 from Spanish society in general, wind
the main source 2000 to 2013. But thanks to wind power has become an industrial
of electricity in power, Spain saved 3 bn € in reality.
Spain last year 2013 in imports of fossil fuels,
for the first time ever in any money that has been spent in the The technology itself started at
country. It covered 20.9 percent local economy. The amount of the end of the 80s as a promising
of total demand and wind farms CO2 emitted to the atmosphere experimental technology,
produced a record 54,478 GWh, for each kWh produced has but it wasn’t until the 90s that
an increase of 13.2 percent over gone down from more than half commercial installations were
2012. kilogram to less than 240 grams connected to the grid. In 1996,
in the period. the European Union took the
It is no easy task to identify decision that, given the two
a business activity that has These achievements were simply central problems of rising energy
progressed so much in the last unimaginable twenty years dependence and increasing
15 years as the wind industry in ago. Thanks to the vision two global warming, the development
Spain. It has achieved a highly decades ago of the Government, of indigenous renewable energies
prominent position in economic companies, research centers and should become a priority for its
terms as a result of the efforts of
the companies operating in it, Heikki Willstedt
its contribution to the creation
of value (GDP growth) and jobs,
and the vitalizing effect that this
business has on other economic

Moreover, the wind energy
industry is making a major
contribution to sustainable
development in Spain, since its
characteristics are in tune with the
main substance of EU’s energy
and environmental policy, namely
the reduction of greenhouse gas
and other polluting emissions,
increased use of renewable
energies and reduced energy
dependence through lower fossil-
fuel imports.

How did it happen?

The problem of energy
dependence and the common
objectives of the European Union
are behind this extraordinary feat.
Spain has to import more than
70% of the energy it consumes.
And the cost of that imported
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