In 2022, the state of electricity consumption in Spain was dominated by clean, low-carbon sources, accounting for over 60% of the total mix, while fossil-based energy supply stood at roughly 37%. Among the low-carbon sources, wind energy emerged as the leader, supplying almost 22% of Spain's electricity, closely followed by nuclear power at over 20%. Solar and hydropower stood at around 11.5% and 6.5%, respectively. In contrast, gas, a fossil fuel, constituted nearly a third of the electricity supply. Rather meager proportions were accounted for by coal and biofuels, at less than 3% each. In terms of net balance, Spain stood as an exporter of electricity.
To further increase the proportion of low-carbon electricity, Spain can learn from the energy models of many European countries. Taking a leaf from the books of France, Belgium, Slovakia, and Ukraine, Spain could harness more nuclear power. All these countries successfully generate a significant share of their electricity from nuclear power, with France leading at 61%. Spain could also emulate Denmark and Ireland, two nations that have capitalized on wind energy. Just like these nations, Spain too enjoys favorable geographical conditions for wind power generation. Expanding the existing nuclear, wind, and solar infrastructure could pave the way for a greener future.
A look at the history of low-carbon electricity in Spain indicates a fluctuating trend in hydro-power over the years. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, there were prominent increases in hydroelectric power, highlighted by an 18.7 TWh increase in 1977. Throughout the 1990s, there were significant ups and down, with a notable uptrend in 1996. However, the 21st century tends to be dominated by decreases, punctuated by irregular spikes in hydroelectric power, suggesting a level of instability and unpredictability. A substantial increase in nuclear power generation in 1984, adding 12.4 TWh, notably stands out against a background of variable hydroelectric energy generation, underscoring the importance of a diverse, multi-source, low-carbon energy strategy.