Spain ignites maximum coal burning reached with Filomena amid electricity price chaos

this the beginning of the long-awaited gas capSpain and Portugal’s plan to reduce electricity by intervening in the electricity market coincided with last week. combination of reducing factors It also dampened high expectations about the impact of the measure. The increase in demand for electricity due to the heat wave and the decrease in renewable energy production due to the absence of wind necessitated the use of other more expensive production technologies. discount electricity price was small more than expected.

Much has been said about more consumption and less renewable sources, with the production of gas plants rising to historical maximums (in some days intensifying more than 40% of all national production) to meet all demand. But in the heat wave The use of coal-fired power plants has also increased rapidly. up to production levels that are not fully reached cold caused by storm FilomenaEarly January 2021, as reported by El Periódico de España.

The so-called Iberian exception implies that Spain and Portugal will impose a one-year maximum price on gas, as well as on coal used to generate electricity (with 40 euros per megawatt hour, MWh in the first six). It lowers the price of the wholesale electricity market as a whole and prevents high gas and coal prices from polluting the money paid for electricity produced by other technologies.

The use of gas and coal, two overlapping technologies, proliferated in the early days of the Government’s star plan due to rapidly increasing electricity consumption. The system designed by the Iberian Governments forces gas and coal power plants to pay compensation to cover their actual production costs, even though the theoretical prices of their offers in the electricity market are a price. limited price.

Electricity companies recorded daily production by burning more than 40 gigawatt hours (GWh) of coal over several days in the midst of a heat wave, according to records from power system operator Red Eléctrica de España. In particular, 46 GWh was reached on 17 June, intensify 5.1% of all national electricity productionand that on 8 January 2021 half of Spain was frozen by Filomena, as well as practically linked to production recorded during another cold wave a year ago on 24 January 2020.

waiting for blackout

Spain at the gates of the final blackout of all coal plants. When faced with the decision of countries like Germany, Austria or the Netherlands to reactivate the generation of their thermal power plants to protect themselves from the interruption in Russia’s gas supply, in the case of Spain from the Government and the existing electricity sector. There’s no saying goodbye.

The big power companies have already shut down or sought authorization from the Government to be able to shut down all the coal plants in the country (with the exception of one in particular, one in Asturias and another in Mallorca). However, with the electricity market skyrocketing in prices, coal plants, which are only just getting ready to close, have in most cases closed. without working for a long time they are now re-enabling and triggering their generation.

While awaiting the final closure permit, electricity companies are obliged to have their facilities ready and, if necessary, to submit generation offers in the electricity market. Prices have risen over the past year, Burning coal to generate electricity becomes profitable again At certain times. High prices and high consumption have enabled offers from thermal power plants to enter the market from time to time.

The production of coal plants in Spain has been increasing for ten consecutive months. Since September 2021, the production of thermal power plants has grown year-on-year. Production doubled in some months, and some even tripled According to data from Red Eléctrica, compared to the same month of the previous year. But last week, coal production got out of hand due to the extreme conditions of the electricity system.

Two Endesa plants currently available for the electricity market, the Endesa de As Pontes plant in Coruña and the Es Murterar plant in Majorca; Asturian EDP factories in Aboño and Soto de Ribera; and the Viesgo factory – now part of the EDP group – in Los Barrios in Cádiz. Three of these factories are about to close, actually waiting for the last administrative permit or filling the short additional period after receiving it.


After the last wave of plant closures already underway, In Spain, only one plant will remain in operation, in the Peninsula (the Asturian plant in Aboño, owned by EDP) and in Mallorca (the plant in Es Murterar, owned by Endesa).. The situation with the Aboño power station is odd, because in addition to burning coal to generate electricity, it also uses iron and steel gases from the nearby ArcelorMittal plant, preventing them from being burned in a torch and released directly into the atmosphere. , in a kind of special circular economy process.

Endesa’s Mallorcan facility has closed two of its groups and is keeping two more groups operating due to security of supply and usage restrictions on the islands. Until August 2021, both groups can work a maximum of 1,500 hours per year, and the limit has since been reduced to 500 hours per year. Until the second connecting cable between the Peninsula and Mallorca is connected, the plant will remain idle and should in principle be operational before 2026.

Source: Informacion


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