We are already in a new year full of challenges for renewables but before we dive into 2020, let’s take a look at 2019. But since the official reports on production by source as well as market prices won’t be published for a few months, the best thing to do is to do a little “Do-It-Yourself-Data” and make them ourselves by going straight to the source and applying the magic of Excel. In short, as we did last year, we have anticipated the official reports and have analysed the data available on the Entso website on wind and solar power generation in Spain, as well as the electricity price data on the OMIE site
- Daily generation
– The highlight is the seasonal complementarity of wind and solar power. This is just an anecdote but will be very important when solar production levels are similar or higher than those of wind
– The great variability of wind power is also evident. Again, there are very remarkable cases such as on March 6th where in 48 hours it went from 332 to 63GWh
– Wind power generation reached its daily maximum in 2019 on December 13, while its minimum was on August 28. Let’s take a closer look at the generation mix on December 13
– The solar for its part had its maximum on July 29 and its minimum on December 20.
- 2019 vs 2018
– The wind year in 2019 has had its peak at the end of November while in 2018 it was in March. The profile of solar PV generation is quite similar
– As for the total data, it can be seen that solar production has grown very significantly (20%) due to the high rate of photovoltaic installations, while wind power has grown more modestly in line with the figures for new installations in 2018. Without doubt, in 2020 we will see a greater growth of wind production motivated by the increase in installations that will be around 2000 MW in 2019.
– For the first time in history, wind power produces more than 50 TWh in one year, specifically 52.3 TWh. Solar PV stands at 14.4 TWh, also a historical record.
- Market prices and renewables
A very interesting aspect is to check the impact on the daily electricity market prices of renewable generation
It should be noted that the peak in wind power generation at the end of the year coincides with the lows in the wholesale price of electricity.
If we compare 2019 prices with those of 2018, we see that the downward trend has been very pronounced. This provides for a more in-depth analysis in the future but it is an issue that should be of great concern to the sector since, as I never tire of insisting, many auction business cases have been built with high pool hypotheses in the future and if this is not fulfilled, the viability of many projects will be greatly affected. It seems increasingly urgent to reform the marginal electricity price systems as the cannibalization effect of renewables will be greater and greater and, in this sector,, even more important than the volume of revenues is the predictability and stability of them.
In short, 2019 in Spain has been a very good year for renewables, with a great deal of installation activity that is already beginning to be reflected in the growth of electricity generation. The low market prices cause me personally more doubts than joy.