Spanish electricity demand up 2.8 pct in 2007

MADRID, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Spanish electricity demand rose 2.8 percent year-on-year in 2007 to 260,838 gigawatt hours (GWh), grid operator Red Electrica REE.MC said on Thursday.

Stripping out the effect of different working days and temperature changes, demand rose 4 percent.

Demand reached its peak on the evening of Dec. 17 when it hit 45,450 MW as Spaniards turned up the heating during a very cold snap. That was 4 percent higher than the previous minute-by-minute record of 43,708 MW hit in Jan. 2005.

In an annual report, Red Electrica said Spain now had installed capacity of 85,959 MW, up 8.6 percent from 2006 mostly thanks to 11 new combined cycle plants with 5,455 MW of capacity and new wind parks with almost 2,000 MW.

Wind power now makes up 16 percent of Spain’s installed capacity. Combined cycle plants still have the biggest market share with 24 percent, followed by hydropower with 19 percent.

However, hydropower may be at risk next year as reservoirs are now only about 35 percent full after a very dry autumn.

Wind power met 10 percent of overall electricity usage this year, setting a new daily production record of 169,194 MW on March 19 when it covered 23 percent of demand.

Under Spain’s new renewable energy plan, published in May, 12 percent of Spain’s energy consumption should come from renewable sources by 2010. (Reporting by Jane Barrett, Editing by Peter Blackburn)