Government set to raise wind power target to 20,000 MW by 2011

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Spain's new labour government plans to increase the country's wind power target from 13,000 MW to 20,000 MW by 2011, according to press reports which have been confirmed by wind industry players claiming to be privy to the government's planned energy policy. The big increase in the target follows government concern over Spain's booming electricity demand -- rising at a rate of 6% a year -- and the country's failure to meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions as a direct result, according Spanish newspaper, La Razón. Furthermore, the new Partido Socialista Obrera de España government has introduced an ambitious program to supply water to Spain's dry areas via 17 desalination plants, estimated to increase electricity demand by a further 1%. Comments by the state energy efficiency agency Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorra de la Energía, suggest there maybe substance to La Razon's report. "Twenty thousand megawatts is possible simply by improving wind plant technology and regulation," the agency's Javier García Breva told Reuters news agency in July. Breva says part of the new capacity will come from repowering Spain's older plants. Regarding regulation, Breva said the government was revising March's new tariff regulation for wind "to fine-tune and improve it."

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