Renewable energies increased their share of primary energy consumption by 1.7 percentage points compared to 2017, according to data provided by APPA Renovables in its Macro 2018 Study, which was presented last October 2 in Madrid. This evolution is due to a greater contribution of primary energy of renewable origin, placing the percentage of renewables at 13.9% of total primary energy, which means that they generated 38.1% of electricity in Spain.
This percentage of 13.9% places clean energies in third place, behind petroleum products (44.9%) and natural gas (21.1%).
In addition, renewables accounted for 15.1% of final energy in our country in 2018, according to this Study of the Impact of Renewable Energies in Spain. If we observe the behaviour of non-electrical renewables, with a growth of 8.1% with respect to 2017, their contribution was 6.7% of final energy. Within the direct uses of renewables, there is a slight upturn in thermal uses and a significant growth in biofuels. Biodiesel consumption increased by 42.4% and bioethanol by 12.7% in 2018.
In the case of final gross energy from renewable energy, a benchmark measure for meeting the targets of 20% by 2020, there has been a slight setback of 17.3%.
APPA representatives pointed out that the competitiveness achieved by some renewable technologies and the auctions held in 2016 and 2017 have consolidated the reactivation of the national renewable sector, which is growing at the highest rate in the last eight years. The growth rate of the sector stood at 10.7% in real terms, reaching 10,521 million euros of direct and induced contribution to GDP. In this way, the renewable sector currently accounts for 0.87 % of national GDP, with four years of growth.
There are several reasons for this growth. In electricity generation, the auctions of 2016 and 2017 and the competitiveness achieved by some technologies -especially wind and photovoltaic- have reactivated the sector.
New export record
Exports again set a record in the historical series with 4,739 million euros of exports in goods and services, with a net export balance of 2,746 million euros. This net export balance of renewable energies contrasts with the energy deficit of the national trade balance, which stood at -25,132 million. Compared to the total national deficit (33,840 million), the energy deficit is 74%, “so it is evident the need to bet on renewable energy as a solution to the loss of foreign exchange involved in energy imports.
Finally, employment grew by 3.3% compared to 2017, and the renewable sector registered a total of 81,294 jobs in global terms in 2018.