Spain targets huge new wind and solar additions as part of stunning renewables plan | RenewEconomy

Spain targets huge new wind and solar additions as part of stunning renewables plan

Spain’s National Energy & Climate Plan targets renewables to account for 42% of the country’s total energy mix and 74% of its electricity by 2030.

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Spain is targeting a stunning renewable energy share of 74 per cent of total electricity by 2030, and 42 per cent of total energy demand, in its new National Energy & Climate Plan (NECP) that has been submitted to the European Union.

The plan includes a commitment to install over 2GW of new wind energy capacity and 3GW of new solar capacity each year through the decade to help meet the targets.

Spain’s Council of Ministers, approving a proposal from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), announced at the end of March that it will submit its NECP to the European Commission.

Spain already boasts 25.7GW of total installed wind capacity and 8.7GW of installed solar capacity. Spain’s new plan looks to dramatically increase its renewable energy capacity by 2030, doubling down on its already dominant position as a European and world leading wind energy hub.

According to Spain’s NECP, it expects the total installed power capacity of its electricity sector to be 161GW by 2030, of which 50GW will be made up of wind – accounting for 31% of the total. This will be followed 39GW of solar PV, 27GW of natural gas, 16GW of hydroelectricity, 7GW of solar thermal, and 3GW of nuclear.

“Spain has submitted an ambitious 2030 National Energy & Climate Plan (NECP) to the EU,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of Europe’s wind energy trade body, WindEurope. “This is a strong and encouraging sign for the European energy transition, especially in the current challenging times.

“Spain has long been a leader in renewables: wind is 20% of their electricity and they create more export revenues from wind energy than from wine. It’s great to see they’re now planning a significant further expansion of renewables. The level of ambition and visibility sends a clear signal to investors and will be good for jobs and growth. It makes Spain a frontrunner in the EU Green Deal.”

The plan also calls for a 39.5% increase in energy efficiency over the next decade and an investment of €241.4 million ($A425 million).

Spain’s MITECO reserves the right to modify its Plan as the public information and comment phase was supposed to be closed on March 25, but was suspended due to the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 mustn’t undermine our common efforts to tackle climate change,” Dickson added. “On the contrary, the Green Deal is the best route out of current crisis. Spain gets this. Its green economy will drive its recovery.

“And wind will play a central role: its shovel-ready, cheap to build and supports lots of jobs. Five other EU Member States still haven’t finalised their NECPs yet. They should find inspiration in the excellent Spanish example. Come on France, come on Germany.”

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