Spain, Mexico Say “No” to Putin, “Si” to Renewables

April 11, 2022

France 24:

Buoyed by a surge in investment and new projects, wind power has become Spain’s main source of electricity generation just as Europe seeks to curb its energy imports from Russia.

“We are on suitable ground here,” said Joaquin Garcia Latorre, project director at Enel Green Power Espana, pointing to gigantic masts erected on the heights of the tiny northeastern village of Villar de los Navarros.

The Spanish-Italian firm picked this spot, which is well exposed to the wind, to set up a 180-megawatt wind farm, one of the country’s biggest.

Dubbed Tico Wind, its 43 wind turbines started producing power in November, said Latorre while workers around him tended to the turbines, which are over 100 metres (328 feet) high.

“There are between 2,500 and 3,000 hours of wind here per year,” he added.

The wind farm will be able to produce 471 gigawatt hours per year — enough to meet the demands of 148,000 households — after it becomes fully operational in a month.

These types of projects have popped up across Spain in recent years, making it Europe’s second-biggest wind power producer after Germany for installed capacity and the world’s fifth biggest.

Wind power became the main source of electricity production in Spain last year, accounting for 23 percent, ahead of nuclear (21 percent) and gas (17 percent), according to national grid operator REE.

The sector “benefits from a favourable situation” although “brakes” remain on its development, such as a dependency on government auctions, said Francisco Valverde Sanchez, renewables specialist at electricity consultants Menta Energia.


Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released an in-depth report on the potential for clean energy development in Mexico. Mexico is replete with solar and wind resources and has remaining untapped potential in geothermal and hydropower.

NREL’s Mexico Clean Energy Report concludes that, in light of this potential and the low cost of renewable energy generation, Mexico is ideally poised to become a clean energy powerhouse. According to the report, rapid growth in renewable energy deployment could enable Mexico to achieve its 35% clean energy generation goal by 2024, generate high levels of investment, increase energy access, reduce costs to consumers, and — together with other technical measures — improve the reliability and resilience of Mexico’s power system.

“Mexico can be a clean energy powerhouse,” said NREL Laboratory Director Martin Keller, “and a vital part of maintaining North America’s competitive edge around the world. Realizing this potential will require energy policies that facilitate private investment and support our joint efforts on clean energy, climate, and supply chains.”

Among the key findings of the report:

  • Mexico’s large and diverse renewable energy resource base could support significant growth in clean generation capacity. National technical potential includes 24,918 GW of solar photovoltaics, 3,669 GW of wind, 2.5 GW of conventional geothermal, and 1.2 GW of additional capacity from existing hydropower facilities — all combined, enough to meet the country’s electricity needs a hundred times over.
  • Even in the short term, with sufficient private sector investment, Mexico could realize this potential quickly, bringing online 15,257 MW of renewable energy. With this investment, the cost of producing electricity could be significantly reduced, saving the national system US$1.1 billion, as well as generating US$17 billion in new investment opportunities, creating over 72,000 jobs, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

2 Responses to “Spain, Mexico Say “No” to Putin, “Si” to Renewables”

  1. John Oneill Says:

    “There are between 2,500 and 3,000 hours of wind here per year,” …out of 8,760 total.This website has correlated the carbon emissions from electricity generation for thirty OECD countries over the last fifty years, and compared how far they have decarbonised, and how much it cost. Wind is not the stand-out player.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Spain’s doing well, though (wind in pink), and the article was addressing wind being added after 2020 (end of the chart):

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