Spain has become a powerhouse of wind energy (energia eolica), and Andalucia is perfectly positioned to play a major part in this clean energy revolution, with its miles of coastline enjoying constant onshore and offshore winds. Driving around the Andalucian countryside, you will see endless rows of wind turbines, like something out of an eco-Don Quixote.

in 2014 27.4% of Spain’s electricity was generated from wind and solar. With 22,9oo megawatts of installed capacity in 2013, Spain ranked fourth in the world in total installed capacity, behind China, the US and Germany, and ahead of the UK (10,500 MW).

In 2013 Spain wind became Spain’s top energy source (20.9 percent), with more power produced from wind than from nuclear (20.8 percent); 42.8% of total energy generated in the country during 2014 was from renewable sources.

Furthermore, Spanish companies, both turbine manufacturers and wind-farm operators, are among the leaders in the global wind-power market. Some examples are Gamesa Eólica (the world’s second largest turbine manufacturer), Iberdrola (the world’s largest wind-farm owner and operator) and Acciona Energía (the world’s largest wind-farm builder and developer).

What’s more, from the dense industrial base already present in Spain, many companies have sprung up to develop technologies befitting the needs of the wind industry, in fields such as composites, steel, electrical components, and wind-data loggers.

With 30 percent annual growth in the sector, Spain is poised to continue this trend toward powering its economic and technological growth with the strong winds that sweep over the country’s mountains and plains.

Wind energy in Spain has now entered a dynamic phase where the serious challenges that arise when wind energy becomes one of the main energy supply technologies need to be addressed. Current policy direction signals how an intermittent power source can be integrated into the electricity market in significant quantities. Predictability is the key to address intermittency at large penetration levels. Wind-powered technology has matured over the past three decades, driving down costs and driving up efficiency.

To move towards 15 percent of the country’s power from wind energy will require a strategic grid framework. According to EWEA, this is currently being developed in partnership with the transmission operators, utilities, wind players and regional governments.