HYBRID SOLAR AND WIND
SPANISH HYBRID WIND AND SOLAR
Spain is seeing a continued resurgence in the development of its Renewable Energy generation targets in line with the targets set by the European Union. Having overcome the error of retrospective price changes to energy contracts in the early 2000’s, the renewed emphasis has brought with it a renewed investor confidence. EY currently place Spain 8th out of 40 countries in their latest (issue 60 Nov 2022) Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. The country is already very popular with wind and solar technologies but with the country’s population being concentrated in certain areas the novel approach of hybridisation is beginning to show fruit. These projects maximise both power yields and smooth generation profiles, which in turn reduce grid balancing stress. They can be smaller and are best suited to semi-urban and industrial areas where issue with grid connectivity and planning are not as big of a hindrance as they would be in a remote rural location.
In terms of land use, combining multiple renewable energy technologies in a single site allows for a more efficient use of resources. By using a hybrid approach the total land area required can be reduced, resulting in lower costs and increased efficiency. Furthermore, hybrid sites can be located in areas that are more suitable for one type of renewable energy than another, such as windy areas for wind turbines, or sunny areas for solar PV, which in turn can help to reduce the overall costs associated with land acquisition. When combined with energy storage options such as static batteries the attractiveness is further enhanced. The two intermittent generating profiles of wind and solar can balance each other out to give a more secure base load profile augmented by storage.
With concern regarding their CAPEX, hybrid renewable energy sites can be more cost-effective than single-technology sites due to the cost of the necessary infrastructure being spread across multiple technologies. In certain jurisdictions, hybrid sites are often able to access more generous government subsidies and incentives than single-technology sites and may go through an easier planning process or environmental impact assessment due to size.
In terms of revenue, hybrid renewable energy sites can be more profitable than single-technology sites. This is because the multiple technologies can be used to generate a more consistent and reliable source of energy, which can then be sold on the energy market at a higher price than single technology. Furthermore, hybrid sites are often able to access more attractive long-term contracts than their single-technology counterparts due to greater generating resilience owing to their combination.
The trend for hybrid renewable energy sites in Spain is growing, as the nation looks to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals. Hybrid sites offer a number of benefits, including more efficient land use, lower CAPEX costs, and potentially higher revenues.