April 2 (Renewables Now) - Renewables generated 50% of Spain’s electricity in March and 44.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the latest estimates provided by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana (REE).

Spain has been under a stay-at-home lockdown since March 15 after a state of emergency had to be declared to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections. With a considerable number of residents at home and teleworking, the nation’s demand for electricity dropped by 4.6% year-on-year to 20,924 GWh in March.

Demand in the first quarter of 2020 declined by 3.1% to an estimated 65,695 GWh.

Among renewable energy technologies, the highest share in March belongs to wind power, which accounted for 26.8% of the national electricity production. Wind farms generated 5,640 GWh over the past month, which represented an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2019.

Electricity demand in the Spanish mainland dropped by 4.4% to 19,812 GWh in March. Figures for the first quarter show a 3.1% decrease in the peninsular demand to 62,195 GWh.

The renewables share in the mainland reached 51.7% in March. Wind power production was up by 14.9% year-on-year to 5,543 GWh, taking a share of 27.6%.

In the Balearic Islands, demand in March was estimated at 405,010 MWh, down by 7.3% year-on-year. In January through March, demand declined by 4.9% to 1,264,823 MWh.

The share of renewables and emission-free technologies in the Balearic system reached 6.7%. Combined cycle power plants were again the biggest electricity producers with a share of 77.1%, while coal-based technologies did not contribute a single MWh for three months in a row.

Demand for electricity plunged by 8.9% to 672,832 MWh in the Canary Islands in March. In the first quarter, demand came at 2,134,193 MWh, down by 1.8% year-on-year.

Renewables and emission-free technologies made up 16.4% of the Canary Islands’ power mix in March, with combined cycle power plants taking the lead with a 45.3%.