January 23, 2009 / 9:17 AM / 11 years ago

Spanish wind power sets new record

A giant bull billboard is surrounded by wind turbines in a dry field at Los Monegros in Aragon near Zaragoza city, Spain December 13, 2005. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s booming wind parks set a new record for power generation late on Thursday, national grid operator REE said.

REE temporarily logged output of 10,923 megawatts, beating a previous maximum of 10,880 MW set on April 18 last year.

Spain’s government has encouraged the development of renewable energy in recent years to cut greenhouse emissions — which are far above levels permitted by the Kyoto protocol — and reduce its heavy dependence on imported fuel.

Wind parks have the capacity to produce about 16,000 MW and the government forecasts that 20,000 will be installed by 2010. Wind power lobby groups say that figure could rise to 40,000 MW by 2020.

In comparison, Spain’s aging nuclear power plants have an installed capacity of 7,800 MW and produce a constant 7,300 MW when working normally.

The government has pledged it will commission no new nuclear plants, but has said it may extend the current reactors’ working lives depending on the conclusions of safety and feasibility reports being prepared by the CSN watchdog.

Reporting by Martin Roberts

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