• Spain’s Council of Ministers have approved the country’s decarbonization goal aiming for climate neutrality by 2050
  • It is accompanied by another approval to hold renewable energy auctions in the country which will enable it to install 60 GW capacity by 2030
  • The approval will allow MITECO to prepare a roadmap for auctions, their timeline, expected capacity and technologies to be included

The Spanish Council of Ministers have approved the Royal Decree-Law 23/2020 paving the way for renewable energy auctions to be held in the country. At the same time, it cleared the country’s Long-Term Decarbonization Strategy (ELP 2050) firmly putting it on path to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The government believes the path presented in the strategy will guide the mobilization of investment for economic recovery of Spain and offers great potential to attract investment.

Renewable energy auctions

Back in July 2020, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) had been instructed by the Council of Ministers to urgently process the 2 Royal Decrees in order to speed up the process to provide legal certainty and security to the national energy framework and regulate new renewables auctions system in July 2020 (see Spain Speeds Up Process To Clear Way For RE Auctions).

Now, the Royal Decree approved establishes a new framework for future renewable installations to be developed through auctions. “The new remuneration framework, which the Royal Decree calls the Economic Renewable Energy Regime (REER), will be used for new renewable power and will allow hybridization between technologies, the expansion and modification of existing facilities and will be compatible with storage,” stated MITECO.

Its approval will enable the country to chase its target to have 60 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030, planned under its Integrated Climate Energy Plan (PNIEC) 2021-2030.

The ministry will now prepare a calendar for these auctions to be held for the next 5 years, indicating their frequency, expected capacity and the technologies eligible for every round. Winning projects will be allowed to participate in daily and intraday market. First auction under the plan approved is likely to be held by the end of 2020, the ministry was reported as stating in a Reuters report.

Solar and wind power will be a big part of this renewable energy auction scheme. Till the end of September 2020, cumulative installed solar PV capacity of Spain reached 10.21 GW with 1.29 GW added during 9M/2020 (see Solar PV Capacity In Spain Exceeds 10 GW Till Sept 2020).

Climate neutral target for 2050

Under ELP 2050, that MITECO says responds to the country’s commitments as a member state of the European Union (EU) and to the Paris Agreement, Spain has now committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 90% by 2050 compared to 1990 with remaining 10% to be absorbed by carbon sinks. The EU aims to be the 1st carbon neutral continent in the world in 2050 (see Final European Green Deal Proposal Presented). It has also proposed a plan to the European Parliament and the Council to lower EU’s GHG emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels.

Renewable hydrogen, capture and storage processes will also be part of Spain’s strategy to achieve decarbonization for industries. The government will plan to develop a research, development and innovation strategy within the framework of ELP 2050 to position itself competitively in the entire industrial value chain.

It expects the 2050 plan to generate about 300,000 net jobs annually throughout the period.

“Furthermore, the document anticipates that the contribution of renewable energy to final energy will be 97%. For its part, the electricity sector will be 100% renewable before reaching the middle of the century, while the contribution of renewable energy to transport and mobility will reach 79%, reaching 97% in the heating and cooling sector,” explained MITECO.

A detailed account of the ELP 2050 is accessible on MITECO’s website.