Wind power tops in Spain
Madrid - Wind power became Spain's main source of electricity for the first time ever this month, in a country renowned for its focus on renewable energy, the power-generating authority REE said on Thursday.
"Wind farms accounted for 21% of demand and reached a monthly record," 5.0% more than in March 2010, it said in a statement.
Overall, renewable energy provided 42.2% of electricity demand, a figure that was down 48.5% in March 2010, REE said.
Hydro energy accounted for 17.3% during the month, solar energy 2.6%, nuclear 19% and coal-powered electricity 12.9%.
"With wind energy production in March, we could cover the monthly electricity consumption of a country the size of Portugal," the country's association of wind farms, AEE, said in a statement.
"This historic milestone reached by wind energy shows that this energy source, as well as being indigenous, clean and increasingly competitive, is also capable of providing three million Spanish households," said AEE president Jose Donoso.
AEE said the growth in wind energy was "the main reason why 2010 was the first year in which Spain was a [net] exporter of electricity along with France."
Spain was the fourth largest producer of wind energy in 2009 due to the government's policy of supporting the sector in recent years.