Ecology

Renewable energies in Spain

Renewable energies are those that are based on the use of different natural resources, such as the sun, wind or water, as sources of energy, since they are natural sources that are renewed unlimitedly. In addition, since they are energies that lack the use of fossil fuels, they have a much lower environmental impact, since they do not produce serious pollutants such as those that come from dirty, polluting or non-renewable energies. For this reason, renewable energies are known as green energies, alternatives to energies based on the use of fossil fuels, which seriously damage the environment through the waste they generate.

What are renewable energies

By way of summary, as we have already indicated in the introduction, we can say that renewable energies are those that come from energy sources or natural resources that are renewed by their normal cycle in an unlimited way. In addition, they hardly pollute and are also known as green or clean, the opposite of non-renewable or dirty energies. The main renewable energies are:

  • Wind power.
  • Solar energy.
  • Geothermal energy.
  • Hydraulic or hydroelectric energy.
  • Seawater energy.
  • Wave energy.

In 2018, the European Union agreement on Directive 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources was approved , which must be applied by the member states, no later than June 30, 2021.

With these regulations, some key objectives to be met by 2030 are pursued , which are:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% , establishing an obligation to reduce these emissions, equivalent to 43% compared to 2005, to the sectors included in the EU Emission Rights Trading Regime (ETS), and 30% for sectors not included in this category.
  • Increase the share of renewable energy by 32% , for which a clause has been established by virtue of which, a review of the share will be carried out for the year 2023.
  • Increase the improvement in energy efficiency by 32.5% , as in the previous case, the directive contemplates a review for the year 2023.

To contribute to achieving the objectives established in the aforementioned directive, complying with the commitments adopted in the Paris Agreement , the EU has adopted a series of rules regarding monitoring and notification among member states, in order to promote the transparency of governments. of the member states regarding the application of the directive through the improvement of legislation, including consultations with citizens.

Current situation of renewable energies in Spain

Spain has been a country that has always been characterized by having a high energy dependence on fossil fuels, reaching its historical maximum in 2008, with a percentage of 81.3%. Although it is true that this figure has been decreasing in recent years, this country’s energy dependence continues to be very high, standing at 73.4% in 2018, which places it almost twenty points above the European average . However, and as a positive fact, it is in 2018 when the positive change in favor of renewable energies takes place. According to the Environmental Profile of Spain (PAE) carried out in 2018 and presented in Madrid in November of that same year, an increase in energy from renewable sources of 18.6% was indicated compared to 2017, according to data from Red Eléctrica of Spain, which implies a proportion of electricity from renewable sources of 38.4%, the PAE is a study that is carried out annually, complying with the obligation established in the Aarhus Convention, whose objective is to share information where each indicator is described regarding its link to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals established in the United Nations 2030 Agenda .

To encourage the production of energy from renewable sources to continue to increase, and based on achieving the provisions of Directive 2018/2001, the Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, approved the following Royal Decree:

Royal Decree 17/2019 of November 22, which adopts urgent measures for the necessary adaptation of remuneration parameters that affect the electricity system and which responds to the process of cessation of activity of thermal generation plants, thus beginning the transition to ensure that Spain has an emissions-neutral energy system, which allows it to achieve the objectives set for 2030.

This Royal Decree-Law includes two measures considered urgent, which will favor a socially just energy transition and which we quote below:

  • Concession of evacuation access to the network: for this, the norm establishes that procedures and requirements may be regulated so that social criteria (including the potential for job creation) and also criteria related to the environment are taken into account, to when granting access concessions to renewable energy projects.
  • Concession for the use of waters associated with closed power plants: this measure establishes that it may be decided to grant a new concession for the use of these waters, also taking into account the criteria described in the previous measure.

The aforementioned regulations establish measures for the use of resources, as well as the reasonable profitability value applicable to renewable energy installations (we recommend that you consult this other article about How to install solar panels ). It also updates the financial remuneration rate in the production of electrical energy, reducing it to 5.58% between the years 2020 and 2025 (the last 5 years it has been 6.503%), translating this average into a lower cost of the bill of electricity , both for consumers and for the General State Budgets.

There is still one year left until the deadline established in the European Directive for the use of renewable energies ends, so the following months will be key when it comes to defining internal regulations for the promotion of renewable energies , establishing an increase of 43 % by 2022.

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