March 12, 2009 Wind Turbines in the north west of Spain set a new record for power generation on March 5th as gales blew across the country, with more than 40% of the country's energy needs being generated by wind turbines.
The new record stands at a peak of 11,180 megawatts (11.18 GW) of electricity supply beating the previous record of 10,032 megawatts. The percentage of demand supplied depends on time of day as demand rises and falls throughout the day.
Spain is the third largest producer of Wind Power in the world, behind the US and Germany, with 16,740 megawatts wind capacity installed at the end of 2008. At the moment of peak production, the country's turbines were working at 69% of their maximum theoretical potential. Wind energy alone has covered 11.5% of demand so far this year, with production up by a third on last year.
When Atlantic storms generate strong gusts wind turbines supply more than either Nuclear power, the second largest contributor, with 6,797 megawatts, or coal-fired electric generation, the third largest, at 5,081 MW. Spain has plans to install a total of over 21GW of wind generation capacity by 2010 to help meet their target of 30% of annual demand for electricity from renewable sources by next year.