LowCarbonPower logo
Instagram Facebook X (Twitter)

Electricity in Spain in 2023

Global Ranking: #19
77.4% #32 Low-carbon electricity
625.40 watts #56 Generation / person
136.77 gCO2eq/kWh #29 Carbon Intensity

As of 2023, Spain's electricity consumption is dominated by low-carbon sources which accounted for over 77% of the total. In particular, wind, nuclear, and solar represent substantial contributions to the mix at roughly 23%, 21%, and 16% respectively. Hydropower makes up close to 15% and the share of biofuels sits just above 2%. The remainder of the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, primarily gas at about 21% and a small proportion from coal, which accounts for just over 1.5% of the total generation.

Suggestions

In order to further increase low-carbon electricity generation, Spain can look to expand its nuclear, wind, and solar infrastructure as these technologies already form a significant part of its energy mix. Following the example of countries with similar geographies and climates may provide useful lessons. Observing France, who generate 66% of their electricity from nuclear sources, growth in Spain’s nuclear sector can have a significant impact. Denmark, where wind energy contributes 59% to the overall electricity generation, can act as a benchmark for Spain’s wind energy ambitions. It's also worth noting that solar energy, an area where Spain has natural advantages, can be capitalised on further, learning from the successes of other solar-dominant countries.

History

Looking back historically, there has been a dynamic journey of low-carbon electricity in Spain. In the late 1970’s, hydroelectric generation saw substantial growth. However, the 1980s were marked by significant fluctuations. For instance, in 1980 there was a considerable decrease in hydroelectric power with a reduction of 16.8 TWh from the previous year. This was followed by growth in nuclear power, which increased by 12.4 TWh in 1984. The subsequent decades were marked by recurrent instability in hydroelectric power generation. Despite notable increments at certain points, for example, an increase of 18.7 TWh in 1977 and 16.2 TWh in 2013, decreases were frequently observed too. These continual fluctuations highlight the uncertain nature of hydroelectric power and the critical need for more stable and predictable low-carbon sources like nuclear, wind, and solar.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Maximum Imports

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1984 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1991 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1992 to 1996 the data source is IEA.
For the year 1997 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1998 to 2003 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2004 to 2015 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2016 to 2018 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2019 to 2022 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2023 the data source is ENTSOE.
Instagram Facebook X (Twitter)