The seven Spanish nuclear reactors in operation have once again proven that they are essential to guarantee electric supply by operating in a constant and stable manner practically 90% of the hours of the year. In 2023 the generated over 20% of the electricity consumed, and managed to prevent around 20 million tons of CO2. These numbers reflect the crucial role of nuclear energy both in the decarbonization process and in the stability of the system.
During the past year, Spanish nuclear power plants generated 57,275.01 GWh. This figure represents 20.34% of the total net electricity production. With a net installed capacity of 7,117 MW, only 5.71% of the total, nuclear managed to be the second-largest source of electricity production in Spain, according to data from Red Eléctrica analyzed by Foro Nuclear.
Spanish nuclear power plants generate over 20% of the total electricity year after year
Nuclear energy is the only technology that has been producing over 20% of the electricity in Spain for twelve consecutive years. Moreover, it is the source that has been operational for the most hours equivalent to full power, specifically 87.06% of the total hours in the year. "These data demonstrate the assurance of supply that nuclear energy offers day by day and year after year," says Ignacio Araluce, President of Foro Nuclear. "The electrical system needs to rely on stable baseload sources with constant production, such as nuclear, which adds stability, strength and firm power to the system."
Nuclear has been the source of electricity generation that has been operative for the highest equivalent number of hours at full power.
Nuclear energy in Spain is also very competitive, and could be even more so if the fiscal burden it faces was reduced. In any case, without nuclear power electricity prices would be higher.
Nuclear electricity production accounted for 28.16% of the total emissions-free electricity generated in Spain in 2023. Only in our country do nuclear power plants prevent the emission of around 20 million tons of CO2 every year, which makes them strategic to the decarbonization process.
For the President of Foro Nuclear, "energy policies must be based on data and science." He points out that most European countries and many other areas in the world, with governments of different political orientations, have decided to continue the long-term operation of their reactors and/or the construction of new units, even in countries without nuclear energy.
The energy situation has changed substantially in recent years. For this reason, Foro Nuclear believes that it would be advisable to reconsider the agenda for the closure of Spanish nuclear power plants and operate them beyond their currently established timelines.