The UK newspaper The Guardian reported that a recent period of extremely windy weather in Spain helped set a new wind-power generation record for the country, with “40 percent of the country’s energy needs being covered by wind turbines at one stage.”
Their reporter in Madrid, Giles Tremlett, wrote:
The peak of 11,180mw of electricity supply came mid-morning yesterday, as fierce winds swept across much of north-west Spain, where most of the country’s extensive wind farms are situated.
That covered 29 percent of Spain’s energy needs at the time. The percentage had been even higher, reaching above 40 percent for several hours, earlier in the morning when demand for electricity was lower.
Spain’s Wind Energy Association said at the moment of peak production, the country’s turbines were working at 69 percent of their maximum theoretical potential.
The Global Wind Energy Council ranked Spain third in terms of overall installed wind-power capacity, at nearly 16,000 megawatts in statistics published last month. Ahead of Spain are Germany, at nearly 24,000 megawatts of capacity, and the United States, at No. 1, with over 25,000 megawatts.
Of course the huge difference in population and power requirements mean that power from wind turbines still accounts for only about 1 percent of U.S. power supply.