Overall assessment

The 2010 version of the Climate Policy Tracker gave Spain a rating of E. In order to accelerate economic recovery, Spain has implemented different laws and programmes that aim to increase energy efficiency and energy savings in transport and the building sector, although some of the measures introduced are only temporary. Spain has increased its biofuel quota. These small positive developments are counteracted by negative developments, which were partly due to budget cuts. The feed-in tariffs for wind and solar power were significantly reduced for new and existing installations. Spain is prolonging its heavy coal subsidies and nuclear time spans. Furthermore, Spain’s draft national climate strategy only extends to 2020, and intends to lower its overall 2020 renewables target compared to the previously published National Renewable Energy Action Plan.

Recommendations on most urgent actions

  • Spain’s draft Renewable Action Plan until 2020 proposes the lowering of the 2020 renewables target from 22.7% to 20.8%. This is counterproductive to the achievement of the long-term target of a low-carbon economy and underestimates the Spanish potential. In addition, stability is needed to restore the trust of investors in renewable energies in Spain. Thus the objective of a 22.7% share of renewables in final energy consumption should be maintained or increased.
  • More coherence in energy policies is needed to prioritise CO2 reduction. Spain should avoid supporting coal subsidies and instead maintain and increase support for renewable energies.
  • Spain should introduce measures reduce CO2 emissions from the transport sector, which was the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector in 2009. Emissions from transport have increased by 71% since 1990 and are above average in other sectors. Plans to build new roads could increase transport-related emissions even further. The reduced speed limit, introduced in April 2011,was only a temporary measure and not sufficient for the sector.