HYDROELECTRIC POWER IN SPAIN
Iberdrola España's decisive role in the development and production of hydroelectric power in the country
At Iberdrola España, we have been committed to hydroelectric power in Spain since our origins as the key to a more sustainable and secure energy future. With more than 130 hydroelectric plants in operation and almost 10,700 MW of installed capacity, we supply clean and renewable hydroelectric energy to nearly 7.6 million homes in the country thanks to this technology.
Aldeadávila Dam, located on the Douro river in Salamanca, on the border between Spain and Portugal.
Hydroelectric power plants harness the kinetic and potential energy of waterfalls along a river to convert it into renewable electrical energy, cleanly and without generating waste, through hydraulic infrastructures capable of extracting the maximum potential from this indigenous resource. Thus, the production of hydroelectric energy in riverbeds constitutes an added value to the intrinsic value of the water consumed for human supply, the countryside and cities.
At Iberdrola España, we have been committed to hydroelectric energy since our origins as the key to a greener future and a benchmark for this technology, in line with the Iberdrola Group's commitment at international level, with more than 13,000 MW of installed hydroelectric power worldwide.
Benefits of hydroelectric power in Spain
Hydropower has been a key pillar in Spain's transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy system. It has contributed to the diversification of the energy matrix, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Some of the main benefits of hydropower in Spain:
It provides a steady and predictable source of energy, which strengthens the security of electricity supply and helps stabilise prices in the energy market.
Hydraulic systems are flexible, allowing a rapid response to variations in demand.
It enables large-scale energy storage thanks to pumped-storage power plants.
The initial economic investment is intensive and operating costs are low.
Hydroelectric power plants are durable installations and guarantee a long service life.
The construction of the reservoirs and dams for the operation of the power plants generates opportunities for the development of tourism, recreation and water activities, boosting the economic sector in the surrounding regions.
Promotes the generation of green employment in the areas where facilities are located.
Complement to other types of energy. It is an essential back-up for the development of other renewable technologies such as solar and wind.
The history of Iberdrola in Spain and that of hydroelectric power generation in the country go largely hand in hand. Hydroelectric power began to be produced on a small scale in Spain in the 19th century, but it was not until the first half of the 20th century that it expanded, driven by industrialisation and the growing demand for electricity. Hidroeléctrica Ibérica, which would become part of what is now Iberdrola España, was founded in 1901 at a time of maximum need for energy supply, driven by its founders' vision of the future and their social commitment, embarking on a pioneering path in the renewable energy sector in Spain.
Throughout the decades and well into the 21st century, Spain continues to invest in its hydroelectric capacity, incorporating more efficient and sustainable technologies, and Iberdrola España continues to anticipate the challenges and play a fundamental role in the modernisation of this type of plant, which is essential for the energy transition.
Hydroelectric plants in Spain
Iberdrola España manages, in coordination with the competent administrations and in accordance with the different laws and regulations, more than 130 generation plants on the Iberian Peninsula, including hydroelectric and mini-hydroelectric plants, with a total installed capacity of 10,698 MW. This production is capable of benefiting almost 7.6 million homes in the country, with a renewable, sustainable and cheap electricity supply. To this is added the energy storage capacity thanks to pumped hydro plants, making it a high-impact technology.
Iberdrola España is a major player in hydroelectric production in Spain and today has some of the country's hydroelectric plants with the highest installed capacity, such as Cortes-La Muela on the Júcar (Valencia), Aldeadávila on the Duero (Salamanca), José María de Oriol (Alcántara) on the Tajo (Cáceres), Villarino on the Tormes (Salamanca) and Saucelle on the Duero (Salamanca).
Further information on each of our hydroelectric plants can be found below, divided according to the river basins in which they are present and from which they are fed.
OUR POWER PLANTS IN THE TAGUS RIVER BASIN