Business, Economics and Jobs

Spain was powered primarily by wind last year


A woman sits on a bench in front of Spain's largest wind turbine, Arinaga. It's located on Gran Canaria in the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands.



For the first time last year, Spain got a majority of its electricity from wind power.

The country's wind farms produced 21.1 percent of Spain's power in 2013, narrowly edging out nuclear power for the first time, according to a new report from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana.

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Nuclear power accounted for 21 percent of Spain's electricity, followed by coal and hydroelectric power.

The 53,926 gigawatt hours of electricity produced by wind power in 2013 marked a 12 percent jump from 2012, when 18.1 percent of Spain's energy came from wind power, according to the report.

Spain's wind turbines also exceeded several all-time highs throughout the year. An estimated 150 wind turbine production plants dot the country.

Wind power contributed the most to Spain's energy production in January, February, March and November, according to the report.

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Spain holds the fourth spot in wind energy production in the world based on 2012 figures.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, China leads the way with 75,564 megawatts in total capacity, followed by the United States at 60,007 megawatts, and Germany with 31,332 megawatts.

India, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Canada and Portugal round out the Top 10.

Spain's news follows a report last year that Portugal had successfully generated over 70 percent of its power from renewables during the first quarter of the year, driven by a surge in hydro and wind power output.