Joan Collins
NATIONAL demand for electricity grew by 4.4 percent during the past year.
Demand grew to 260'704 gigawatts per hour, one point less than in 2004 (4.5 percent), but nearly four times more than the European Union average of 1.2 percent, according to the annual report from the Spanish Electricity Network (REE). Demand on mainland Spain rose to 246'187 gigawatts per hour, some 4.3 percent more than in 2004, a percentage which drops to 3.2 percent if allowance is made for the effects of temperature and the working year. For electricity systems outside of mainland Spain (the Balearics, the Canaries, Ceuta and Melilla), demand rose by 5.1 percent to 14'517 gigawatts per hour. The power generated by the Spanish electrical system grew by 7.6 percent last year with the generation of 5'256 megawatts more, of which 3'890 were generated by eight new combined energy power stations. Special power generation, such as renewable energy, provided 1'701 megawatts, 80 percent of this coming from “wind parks”. At the close of last year, the generation capacity was 73'970 megawatts, of which 54'829 were generated by conventional means and 19'142 by special means. Last year, power generated by conventional means covered 80.6 percent of the demand on mainland Spain, while the rest was supplied by special generation. With regard to international exchange of electricity, 0.5 percent of the electricity generated was exported. The production structure experienced variations because of the lesser production by hydroelectric and nuclear centres, and the incorporation of new combined centres. The drought of last year caused a fall of 35.6 percent in hydroelectric production. In 2005 the lowest hydroelectric production within the last 50 years was recorded, 12'980 gigawatts per hour, some 55 percent below the historic average. Hydroelectric power stations supplied 9 percent of the power produced by conventional means, five points less than in 2004, while the nuclear power stations generated 27 percent, nearly four points less. On the other hand, the combined fuel power stations supplied 22.9 percent of the power, nine points more than in 2004 and the special generators supplied 19.9 percent, 0.9 points more than in 2004.

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