Where does electricity come from?

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Elhuyar Zientzia eta Teknologia aldizkariaren zuzendaria

The switch is given and the lamp is lit exactly the same in Pamplona, Bilbao or Baiona. However, the electron flow that raises the bulb has a very different origin in all three cases. The one that reaches the switches of Pamplona has its origin mainly in renewable sources, the one that goes to those of Bilbao in fossil fuels in gas and the one that reaches Baionarat in nuclear reactors. Three administrations and three models. The Basque Country is the meeting point for the main electricity generation strategies.

To be correct, this is a fictitious image, since electricity is not generated or consumed in it. The electrical networks exceed the limits of the administrations so we can not know exactly where the electricity consumed in Pamplona, Bilbao or Baiona has occurred. However, the image serves to understand the creative model of each region.

The most exemplary strategy among the models is that of Navarre, since 40% of the electricity consumed in Navarre comes from wind turbines, already surpassing the objectives of the European Union by 2020. However, if so much has been installed in Navarre it has been due, among other things, to a wider network. The momentum and penetration of wind and photovoltaic energy is not just a paradigm shift in generation. These two sources of electricity do not have a constant generation rate and their integration into a network that requires very stable stability has limitations: with the current structure of the network, the maximum is 40%, which Navarra has achieved.

In any case, the real limitation is not technical, if there are means for the technical adequacy of the network. It is political-economic, which energy strategy is committed. And, for the moment, there does not seem to be major changes in the origins of the electron flow that reaches the switches of the Basques. Navarra wants to increase by 50% the installed power in renewables; in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country the project of installation of wind power plants is on stand by and in Iparralde will continue to depend on French nuclear energy. We are all equal in one feature: consumption increases everywhere.

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