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Spanish electricity demand rises 2.9 pct in 2010

Source: Reuters - Wed 29th Dec 2010

Spanish demand for electricity rose 2.9% in 2010, a year in which renewable energy boosted its share of usage by six percentage points to 35%, national grid operator REE said on Tuesday. The gain came after a recession-induced drop in demand of 4.8 percent in 2009, REE added.

Wet weather allowed hydroelectric output to rise by 59% in 2010, a factor which traders say has weighed on wholesale power prices. Wholesale power prices affect utilities such as Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural and Hidrocantabrico.

Total installed generating capacity in Spain meanwhile increased by 3,717 megawatts to 97,447 MW, due mostly to new gas-fired generators, but also to wind and solar plants. 2010 saw record wind power output, which momentarily rose to 14,962 MW on Nov. 9 and covered 43% of total demand that day. Spain has become the world's fourth-largest wind power producer and the second-biggest of solar in its quest to cut fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.

Electricity prices in Spain are due to increase by 9.8% as of Jan 1st.