Spain needs an ambitious and realistic energy and climate plan |  Business

Spain needs an ambitious and realistic energy and climate plan | Business

The Government presented the draft update of the National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) 2023-2030, submitted to a public hearing until September 4 and to be definitively approved in June 2024. The update includes 46 new or updated measures and incorporates more climate ambition aligned with European objectives, in the geopolitical context caused by the war in Ukraine. It raises the reduction of emissions to 32% in 2030 compared to 1990, compared to the previous 23%, betting on renewables, storage and demand management.

For renewables, its weight in final energy consumption in 2030 increases six points to 48% —81% in electricity generation—, accentuating the role of wind and photovoltaic solar technologies, for which it foresees an installed capacity of 62 and 76 GW, respectively, and storage, whose objective doubles, up to 22 GW. In photovoltaics, reaching this goal means more than tripling current power in just seven years, becoming from 2025 the main source of generation capacity. In the rest there are no changes, projecting the cessation of coal for that year and the closure of nuclear between 2027 and 2035.

Another protagonist is green hydrogen, for which 11 GW of electrolyzers are expected for its production using renewable energy, for industrial purposes. The Plan highlights its potential in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise and includes a new infrastructure, H2Med between Barcelona and Marseille, for which it does not specify generation targets.

To achieve this energy and climate ambition, an investment of 294,000 million euros is estimated to be mobilized, money 85% private and 15% public, 53,000 million more than that of the previous Plan. Of the total, 40% would go to renewable generation, 29% to savings and efficiency and 18% to energy networks. These investments would have a positive impact on the economy, increasing GDP by 2.5% and creating up to 522,000 additional jobs in 2030. Spain’s energy dependence, for its part, would be reduced to 51%, saving more than 90,000 million of euros.

In short, a roadmap that, if fully and effectively materialized, would give a significant boost to the energy transformation and decarbonization of the country. However, issues pending to be resolved (storage, interconnections), the difficulty in quantifying the socioeconomic impact of the measures —non-linear effects in falling costs and gaining competitiveness, among others— and the private leverage finally achieved, will be decisive in determining the ultimate reality of the announced ambition.

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