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Limits in the integration of wind farms in the Spanish wholesale electrical market

J. Rivier, V. Méndez, T. Gómez

Sustainability and security of supply of our energy system is becoming one of the major issues under discussion in the past few years. Renewable energy sources (RES) play a significant role in both achieving a sustainable energy system and reducing the dependency on energy imports. Unfortunately, the current regulatory and economic framework does not allow renewable technologies to be competitive. To overcome this situation, several supporting mechanisms have been put in place in order to allow them to develop. The most important one or, at least the one that has allowed a higher deployment of renewable generation facilities, especially wind, is the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme. However, it has some drawbacks, one of them being that it hardly gives any incentives to renewable energy sources to really integrate into the existing power system, leading therefore to inefficient behavior. Recently, Spain has redesigned his supporting mechanism to better integrate Wind Parks into the existing system: there is now the possibility of accessing the market almost as a standard generator to sell its production, and having a fixed top up income (a premium) for each kWh. This paper will analyze pros and cons of this scheme. Especial emphasis will be given to what are the economical signals received by any wind farm with this mechanism, and what is their expected modified behavior. The paper will conclude that, although the new regulation is a very important step towards a better integration of the wind generators into the existing system, there are still several problems that prevent a real integration.

Keywords: Renewable Energy Sources, Wind, Market Integration, Feed-in-tariffs

Sixth International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power and Transmission Networks for Offshore Wind Farms, pp. 60-65, Delft, The Netherlands, 26-28 October 2006

Published: October 2006.

    Research topics:
  • *Green energy integration


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