October 4 to 8, 2021

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Asturias, due to the concentration of coal mines, had five large coal-fired power plants with a production capacity of 2,222 MW, producing up to 10 years ago about 10% of the national demand. This situation continued until 2017, when 15,000 GWh were produced in the region with the 4,574 MW installed at that time. Starting this year, a process of decarbonization of the electricity sector began. Although two coal-fired power plants were closed last year, the current installed capacity in the region is 3,777 MW due to the presence of two combined cycles and, above all, renewable power plants, mainly hydro, wind and biomass. New facilities using renewable resources are planned, with 3 new wind farms operating in the last year alone. The forecasts for the renewal of the generating fleet indicate that the installed capacity may be higher than the existing one in 2017, and the aim is to achieve the 5.500 MW en 2030.

This activity in the energy sector justifies the existence of a significant ancillary industry related to the maintenance and operation of thermal power stations and renewable plants. There is also an important plant assembly and equipment manufacturing industry, particularly in the solar and wind sectors. This regional industry is also globally established in the world. Northern Spain is home to Europe’s second largest manufacturing hub for components for the offshore wind industry, which in 2019 employed more than 1000 people in the region, despite the fact that there are still no offshore wind farms installed on Spain’s coasts. All these figures point to the enormous activity that drives energy in the region, not only in the energy sector itself but also in the regional industrial framework.

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