Spain has the ideal conditions and resources to be a leader in renewable energies (sun, air, water, technological capacity, etc.), having also assumed full responsibility, as a global player, for contributing to the ecological transition.
At present 17.5% of the energy consumed in Spain is renewable, according to the Association of Renewable Energy Companies (APPA), about the average for the European Union. This percentage is even higher in the case of electricity generation, as almost 50% of electrical consumption derives from renewable sources, such as hydraulic, wind, solar and thermosolar, according to Red Eléctrica.
In actual fact, Spain is the fifth ranked country in the world in terms of installed wind power, behind China, the US, Germany and India, according to the Corporate Wind Association (AEE). In terms of photovoltaic solar energy, Spain is the fifth country in Europe according to the report by the Solar Energy Institute, making it the tenth ranked country in the world. IRENA data (International Renewable Energy Agency) show that, in terms of thermosolar energy, Spain has the largest installed capacity in the world, followed by the United States. As far as biomass is concerned, Spain is the third ranked European country in terms of absolute forest biomass resources (only behind Sweden and Finland) and the seventh in per capita terms.
Spain has invested so much in these technologies that an important part of the projects set in motion worldwide are being carried out by Spanish companies.
Leadership in sustainability
On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly approved the 2030 Agenda: 17 objectives in the economic, social and environmental fields which raised major challenges, including the production of affordable, non-contaminating energies. Sustainable development is one of the key parts of this UNO Agenda. With this in mind, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) set in motion, with Spanish involvement, the Sustainable Development Fund whose objectives include “environmental sustainability”.
Spain’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda and sustainability is firm. In the words of the US economist and UNO advisor Jeffrey Sachs, Spain is leading the green transformation, due to its “excellent technology and green companies”. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) for 2018, drafted by the Universities of Yale and Columbia, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, ranks Spain 12th amongst 180 countries based on 24 indicators which include environmental health and ecological vitality.
Spain has been one of the first European countries to adopt ambitious green policies, particularly in terms of clean energies, driven on by an energy transformation program, with an investment of 80 billion Euros. This means not only boosting green energies, but also integrating their benefits into other sectors such as transport, water and sanitation.
Excellent future prospects
Today, the world is witnessing a mass movement in favour of renewable energies. Spain plays an active and leading role in this movement according to the APPA demonstrated by the investment figures in this area. In 2018 investments in clean energy projects experienced a sevenfold increase, reaching 6.8 billion Euros,becoming one of the top 10 countries in the world in renewable energies, the third amongst EU member states and, in terms of investment, behind Germany and France. It was the European country in which investments in renewables grew the most.