Renewable Energy Status



RES- Promoting Policy Instruments




Current Renewable Energy Policy


Current Renewable Energy Policy-General

The main directives in the renewable energy sector in Spain are the Electricity Law, Royal Decree-Law 23/2020, New Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), and National Recovery and Resilience Plan – Green Transition. Spain has reached the European targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency in 2020. The RES target was set to cover 20% of energy demand from renewable energy sources, with Spain exceeding this figure, achieving 21.2%. In terms of energy efficiency, Spain has also surpassed the target of 20%, reaching 35.4%. Spain has stopped issuing new oil and gas exploration licenses, closed most coal mines and stopped its nuclear program. Many workers are retrained to work with clean energy and to restore the environment. Spain is also expanding its renewable energy development program, focusing on solar and wind energy. The government has pledged to install at least 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar power each year for 10 years (Government of Spain, 2021).

RES - Electricity

The share of renewable electricity in Spain rose from 37.13% to 42.94%. One of the factors that contributed to this increase was a significant 10.1% year-on-year increase in renewable electricity production and a 4.81% decrease in total demand. The Royal Decree-Law from 23 June 2020 (Real Decreto-ley 23/2020) was established to specifically promote the development of renewable energies in the power sector. It was designed to align with the European Green Deal, as well as a measure to revive the Spanish economy in response to the effects of the global health crisis. The Decree proposes four essential strains of action. The first regulates access and connection, and a new auction mechanism to offer renewables with a predictable and solid framework. The second centers on new business models, with a purpose to be key withinside the coming years, consisting of the aggregation of demand, storage and hybridisation. Third, the Royal Decree-Law addresses energy efficiency enhancement via way of means of making the National Fund for Energy Efficiency extra flexible; and, lastly, a chain of sectoral measures are set up to strengthen economic recovery and job creation in reaction to the crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Spain’s regulatory framework on self-consumption was updated in 2019, with Royal Decree 244/2019, in order to provide “clearer definitions of self-consumption, simplified compensation schemes, and streamlined technical and administrative requirements” (IEA, 2021). Individual self-consumption as well as collective self-consumption, which has numerous participants, are defined in the decree. Due to its many advantages (efficient use of restricted spaces in urban areas, lower investment cost per user, sharing technical, administrative and operational know-how), collective self-consumption is supported by the Government of Spain and regarded as an appealing instrument to amplify renewables capacity. The Climate Change and Energy Transition Law brought back auctions to the set of Spanish renewable energy policy instruments. After a three-year break, auctions for renewable electricity projects were held in 2021 and yielded 3,256 MW of wind energy and 2,902 MW of solar PV. Approximately 5 GW of renewables capacity shall be auctioned per year. The Government introduced a calendar for 2020-2025, indicating minimum auction volumes of capacity for every renewable energy technology, with annual updates.

RES - Heat

The share of renewable energy sources in heating and cooling increased slightly from 17.2% to 17.97% in 2020, which is attributed to a reduction in demand. Before issuing the NECP, Spain was lacking support schemes for renewable heating and cooling. The plan foresees to double the share of the renewable sources in the heating and cooling sector by 2030, compared to 16.8% in 2015. The focus lies on expanding district heating and cooling installations with renewable energy. Furthermore, the government anticipates to pass economic aid schemes for renewables installations in buildings or heating networks, to support in particular: “upgrading solar thermal facilities; high-efficiency ambient energy equipment; upgrading biomass equipment with other high-efficiency equipment; geothermal facilities with heat pumps and direct use; hybrid systems of renewables technologies to achieve nearly-zero energy buildings; and integrated, standardised and compact heating and cooling installations” (IEA, 2021).