Spain Continues To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

National Economy

The population of the Kingdom of Spain is approximately 46.77 million people[1]. In 2019, 100% of the people in this Western European country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Spain’s economy was ranked 13th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of vehicles, machinery, refined petroleum, pharmaceuticals, meat, wine, fruits, and vegetables.

Environment Policies

In 2009, Spain and other members of the European Union (EU) committed to the Renewable Energy Directive,” which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.

In 2016, Spain and other members the EU signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”[4]. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

In 2020, Spain’s national electric utility, Red Eléctrica de España used renewable energy (43.6%), natural gas (35.5%), nuclear power (18.9%) and coal (2.0%) to generate electricity in the country[5]. Wind, hydropower, solar, and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Spain.

Recent renewable energy projects in Spain include:

  • 500 MW Solar Project In September 2020, Spanish power company Iberdrola commissioned the Nuñez de Balboa Solar Park, located in southwestern Spain.
  • 350 MW Solar Project – Spanish solar company, Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente has begun work on a solar project in the Toledo Province, near the nation’s capital, Madrid.
  • 300 MW Solar ProjectIn January 2021, Israeli renewable energy company, Ellomay Capital commissioned Talasol solar project, which is located the Cáceres Province in central Spain.
  • 280 MW Solar Project – Solaria Energía y Medio Ambiente has begun work on a second solar project in the Toledo Province.
  • 200 MW Offshore Floating Wind Farm – Norwegian energy company, Equinor is continuing work on a floating wind project off the coast of the Spanish Canary Islands. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 100 MW Solar Park + 20 MWh Energy Storage + 20 MW Hydrogen System – Iberdrola is continuing work on the Puertollano solar plant with a lithium-ion battery storage system and electrolytic hydrogen production system, which will be located in central Spain. The project is scheduled to be commissioned  by year-end 2021.
  • 63 MW Wind Farm – Iberdrola is nearing completion of the Herrera Wind Complex, which is located approximately 160 miles north of the city, Madrid. The wind farm is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021.
  • Agrivoltaic Project – Spanish utility, Empresa Nacional de Electricidad has announced a beekeeping pilot project designed to pollinate plants at two of its solar projects in southwestern Spain. The agrivoltaic project is designed to maximize agricultural output on land co-developed with solar photovoltaic power plants.

Conclusions

In 2020, over 60% of Spain’s electricity was generated from zero greenhouse gas power plants (nuclear and renewable). The country has already exceeded the EU’s 2030 renewable energy targets.

Spain is successfully implementing a program that is significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Spain is on track to becoming one of the first carbon neutral countries in the world.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

[1] Spain Population (2021) – World Population Review, March 24, 2021

[2] Spain – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] Red Eléctrica de España – The Spanish Electricity System – Preliminary Report 2020.

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