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Spain will be run on 100 per cent renewables, energy boss vows

Some 29 million homes are already being powered by wind energy in Spain every day

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 24 October 2016 16:01 BST
A wind turbine in Zaragoza, Spain
A wind turbine in Zaragoza, Spain (Getty)

The director of one of Spain's top power companies has predicted the country will eventually become 100 per cent relaint on renewable energy.

Acciona boss Miguel Ezpeleta said there is currently enough wind energy being generated to power 29m Spanish homes every day.

He told Australian news channel, ABC News: “The important thing is to predict and forecast what is going to happen.

“I think people are going to tell me we're crazy but I'm pretty sure we'll arrive at 100 per cent for one moment for sure.”

The firm, which monitors 9,500 wind turbines across the world from its base in Pamplona in northern Spain, said a new nighttime record was set in November last year when wind energy provided 70 per cent of the country’s energy.

The daytime record was hit in January 2015 when wind accounted for 54 per cent of energy used.

The drive for clean energy is part of a move by the country, which has no oil or natural gas deposits, to become energy independent.

The European Union has set a target for Spain to fulfill 20 per cent of all its energy needs with renewable energy by 2020 – it is currently at 17.4 per cent.

But critics say the focus on renewables has done nothing to make energy more affordable – with some suggesting the price has increased by up to 60 per cent since 2006.

One local resident in Falces near Pamplona, Maria Angeles Verjara, told ABC News: “Every day is getting more expensive. I don't know if it's because of the taxes or why”.

But Acciona said these problems can be combated with proper management.

The director for the Asia-Pacific region, Javier Montes, said: “Properly managed, there should be no issues with that. The examples in Europe show that.

“The one thing going in Spain's favour is that the electrical system has been built with the goal of making it very reliable and able to take very heavy knocks with extreme weather events or major technical failures.”

By contrast the UK is set to fail to achieve its target of 15 per cent renewables by 2020, the Energy and Climate Change Committee concluded last month.

Committee chair Angus MacNeil MP said: "The experts we spoke to were clear: the UK will miss its 2020 renewable energy targets without major policy improvements.

“Failing to meet these would damage the UK’s reputation for climate change leadership.

“The Government must take urgent action on heat and transport to renew its efforts on decarbonisation.”

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