The role of wind energy production in addressing the European renewable energy targets: The case of Spain

F Javier Ramirez, A Honrubia-Escribano, E Gómez-Lázaro, Duc Pham

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Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Union (EU) defines a target of production from renewable energy (RE) for all the EU-28 countries to be achieved by the end of 2020. Spain accepted a target of at least 20% of gross final consumption of energy (GFCoE) from renewable energy sources (RES), which is not expected to be reached. This is because, on the one hand no new RE plants have been commissioned in Spain since 2012 and, on the other, the RE auctions launched by the government in the last two years are not sufficient to cover the lack of installed capacity to reach this goal. The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of wind energy (WE) in the production of RE to meet the 2020 target in Spain. This research presents a model to assess the combination of the repowering of current wind farms (WFs) with the commissioning of new ones, and with the use of other RES like hydro, solar and solid biofuels, proposing optimal ways to develop WE in Spain until 2020. Results show the most suitable combinations of repowered and new WFs according to the different scenarios expected. The findings of this study reveal that, in the most conservative forecast, a minimum repowering level of 46% in combination with new WE installed capacity would be required to reach the target. Finally, a sensitivity analysis provides an assessment of the scenarios that also include the evolution of other RES, giving the resultant energy mix in accordance with the repowering level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198 -1212
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date14 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018


  • 2020 Renewable energy targets
  • National Renewable Energy Action Plans
  • Wind energy
  • Repowering
  • Wind energy sources combination
  • Energy mix


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