The Spanish Committee of the World Energy Council (CECME, acronym in Spanish) represents the WEC in Spain and coordinates the participation of the Spanish energy industry in WEC’s activities, serving as liaison between WEC and the Spanish members. CECME is a part of the Spanish Energy Club (www.enerclub.es), which is a nonprofit organization with more than 300 Associates whose main goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the different energy issues. The main activities of the Spanish Committee include organizing energy-related events in Spain, representing CECME and the World Energy Council in national events, disseminating documentation and collaborating with World Energy Council and its working groups.
A naval engineer by training, Íñigo began his career in CEPSA in 1982. He has held various positions in the areas of Procurement, Aviation and Navy. In 2011 he was appointed Director of CEPSA Comercial Petróleo and since 2014 he has been responsible for the company’s Communications and Institutional Relations. Currently he is member of the Board of Directors.
Ana Padilla works as a Project Coordinator at the Spanish Energy Club and is based in Madrid, Spain. Ana joined the Spanish Energy Club in 2008. Prior to that, Ana worked at the International Energy Agency in Paris.
Energy in Spain
Economic Trends emerges with great uncertainty as a result of Covid-19, which has had a particular social and economic impact in Spain with an expected 11.6% decrease in GDP for 2020 (OCDE). However, it has not taken attention away from climate change, which still keeps energy leaders awake at night.
The mobilisation of resources from Next Generation EU is seen as an extraordinary opportunity for the country, not only to overcome the crisis, but also to ensure the recovery is green, digital and has positive social impacts. This is the purpose of Spain´s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan launched in October 2020 that intends to mobilise 87.64 billion USD in the next three years (including 37% for green economy and 33% for digital transformation). The Government is currently working on new regulations to establish the framework to speed up and manage these funds accordingly.
The National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (NECP) is seen as the guideline for the necessary investment and reform programme for a fair ecological transition. This document is being complemented by others such the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, currently under parliamentary processing; the Just Transition Strategy; and the Strategy for the decarbonisation of the economy by 2050, which seeks climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
Along with economic and climate issues, uncertainties lie on the need to link industrial and economic developments to low carbon technologies. Hydrogen has gained prominence, emerging as an important critical uncertainty. Spain has also defined a Green Hydrogen Road Map this year, which establishes ambitious country targets, including an installed capacity of 4 GW electrolysers for 2030 (10% of the target set by EC for the whole EU), and a series of milestones in the industrial, mobility and electricity sectors. The country has a privileged opportunity to become a leader in this technology, due to its geographical situation, industrial capacity, high level of renewables and strong infrastructure. Economic and regulatory aspects are some of the main challenges ahead.
Renewable energies are the second highest priority issue for 2021, in alignment with the Spanish ambition of 42% renewables contribution in the total consumption (74% in electricity) by 2030 included in the NECP. New regulations to speed up licensing approvals and a new auction regime are expected to be the main drivers for renewables growth. Current challenges are related to market design, system integration, and network infrastructure development, including upgrading, digitisation and interconnections, among others.
Covid-19 has pointed out the importance of digitalisation for many sectors, including energy. This has become the third major priority for 2021, and a key element to enhance green recovery, driven by technologies such as blockchain, big data or AI. Spain is well positioned to face the adoption of digitalisation, as it is a leading country in connectivity, has nearly 100% of homes provided with smart electricity meters and has undertaken a number of reference projects on Smart Cities. However, much remains to be done, in term of skills and consumer’s involvement. A strategy plan (Plan España Digital 2025) was launched in July 2020 to accelerate this process.
Significant opportunities are also anticipated in energy efficiency. The national goal included an improvement of 39.5% in 2030, with special focus on building renovation and a modal shift in transport. Active participation by consumers is considered key and some measures are underway, such as opening the markets to demand-side response, and the creation of local energy communities. The Government has developed a self-consumption strategy for 2030 to foster its development. Energy leaders consider themselves as well prepared to respond to demand structural changes (41% responses high or very high)