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.
Based in Madrid, Olalla del Río Barrio is the manager of the Products’ Technology and Biofuels department at CEPSA. After graduating with honors in Chemical Engineering at Universidad de Valladolid (Spain) and Imperial College (London), Olalla joined CEPSA in 2006 as a process engineer at the San Roque-Gibraltar refinery. Ever since, she has held different positions in the refining area. In 2011, she was appointed to represent the company at a national and European level in different technical and advocacy forums on specifications energy products and related regulations.
Energy in Spain
Comparing 2019 and 2020 results, the perspectives of Spain’s energy leaders remain fairly consistent, with the Critical Uncertainties landscape being led by policy concerns and the Action Priorities area being defined by the roll-out of decarbonisation and decentralisation technologies.
Electric Storage is seen with higher impact, reflecting distributed generation, mobility and the evolving technical characteristics of a greater share of renewable energies integration in the energy mix. The TSO is currently focused on providing greater security of supply and enhanced efficiency. The proposal of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) includes an objective of around 6GW of additional storage capacity (hydraulic pumping and batteries) to be created by 2030. Other types of storage technologies and the future role of hydrogen are also the subject of increasing uncertainties.
EU Cohesion persists as a Critical Uncertainty, being a key issue for Europe’s on-going energy policy reformulation process. The reform’s focus on interconnections is expected to impact the development of Spain’s gas and electricity transmission grid, raising the need for additional infrastructure investment. The Iberian Peninsula would benefit further from the EU internal energy market with a stringer connection with continental Europe.
Climate Framework emerges with higher uncertainty in the aftermath of several initiatives: the Climate Change and Energy Transition bill, the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 and the Just Transition Strategy presented by the government. Uncertainty revolves, around the need for investments, the vulnerability of certain sectors, industrial competitiveness and the specific measures that will be used to implement these plans.
Renewable Energies continue to be perceived as an Action Priority given the ambitious target of a 74% renewables share in final electricity consumption and a 42% share in total energy consumption by 2030. These targets have raised investors´ interest in renewable projects in the country, as shown by the high number of applications for project permits. Current challenges include implementing measures to prevent project speculation and saturation, reducing the length of authorisation processes and clarifying remuneration, among others.
Energy Efficiency remains an Action Priority but with higher uncertainty. With the measures included in the NECP, Spain seeks to improve its energy efficiency by 39.6% by 2030. A Royal Decree was issued in April 2019 to encourage collective self-consumption and simplify the compensation mechanism for self-produced energy. To reach the efficiency goal, measures in ten different areas are under consideration, including building renovation and a model shift in transport.
Digitalisation also remains an Action Priority, reflecting Spain’s global leadership with smart electricity meters installed in nearly 100% of homes. Spain plays an important role in smart city development throughout Europe as one of the 31-member countries of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. New challenges include cybersecurity, privacy, and the need for additional regulatory and policy measure.
This year’s Spanish Issues Monitor map positions issues such as EU Cohesion, Electricity and Commodity Prices in the same place as last year, showing a continuous perception that these are the most critical uncertainties affecting the energy sector. Market Design appears with greater uncertainty this year.
There is a special concern regarding climate change, which is reflected in issues that appear in the action priority space. This concern is driving all legislative and regulatory actions taking place in the country during this period.