The electricity production potential assessment by renewable energies in Spain is based on the performance of successive estimations incorporating increasing restrictions to the calculation, providing a hierarchy of limits.

  • The physical limit is the energy contained in the resource in the whole space. It estimates the energy that could be produced from only the available physical resources, ie, land and climate.
  • The geographical limit is the physical potential non affected by use restrictions imposed by man, such as cities or protected natural areas.
  • The technical limit is the part of the geographical potential really feasible from a technical point of view. In its assessement the areas where the devices could not be installed bacause of slope or bathymetry constraints are taken into account. The econmics of the technology are not considered.

Each of the limits should be assess independently for each renewable source, so the analysed technologies do not compete for the use of space.

Additionally, an economic analysis is conducted to asses the generated energy cost. By orderning increasing the costs the cost versus energy production curve is obtained, which represents the change in the production cost as the best sites for each technology are occupied.