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Spain is the first country in the world to draw a plurality of its power from wind energy for an entire year, according to new reports by the country’s energy regulator and wind energy advocacy group Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).
Wind accounted for 20.9 percent of the country’s energy last year — more than any other enough to power about 15.5 million households, with nuclear coming in a very close second at 20.8 percent. Wind energy usage was up over 13 percent from the year before, according to the report.
The news is being hailed by environmental advocates as a sign that Spain, and perhaps the rest of the world, is ready for a future based on renewables. But the record comes at the end of a very rocky year for Spain’s renewable energy sector, which was destabilized by subsidy cutbacks and arguments over how much the government should regulate renewable energy companies.
What Is American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC) policy regarding wind energy? Wind power can be an important part of the solution to global warming, but wind farms can also kill birds—including eagles, songbirds, and endangered species—through collisions with turbines, and also harm them through loss of habitat. By 2030, there will likely be more than 100,000 wind turbines in the U.S., and these are expected to kill at least one million birds each year—probably significantly more. Wind farms are also expected to impact almost 20,000 square miles of terrestrial habitat, and over 4,000 square miles of marine habitat by 2030, some of it critical to threatened species.
Going into 2014, it’s unclear how wind will survive steep government cutbacks.
At the moment, Spain heavily subsidizes its renewable energy sector, which costs billions of dollars in a country still in the depths of a financial crisis. When the country tried to raise individual rates for renewables, people complained bitterly and the government backed off, leaving the country with a nearly $35 billion renewable energy deficit.
Nuclear - 4.00%
Natural gas - 8.00%
Hydro - 9.00%
Other non-renewable sources - 11.00%
Other renewable sources - 11.00%
Coal - 13.00%
Wind - 44.00%
# of Plants
Percentage of Consumed Electricity (2009)
Hydroelectric 13 78.22%
Geothermal 1 12.84%
Thermoelectric 5 4.89%
Wind Power 1 3.53%
Biomass not available 0.52%
- See more at: costarica.com...