Spain launches plan for 100% renewable electricity by 2050
16 November 2018 | Mitigation
Spain’s social democratic government has launched an ambitious plan to change the country’s electricity system by 2050. In an effort to completely decarbonize its economy, Spain will be transferring its entire electricity system to renewable sources over the next 30 years with a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent compared to 1990 levels.
This plan is part of Spain’s draft climate change and energy transition law, and the government is committing to installing a minimum of 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity each year for the next 10 years. The European nation is banning new licenses for fossil fuel drills, hydrocarbon exploitation and fracking wells. It is also committing one-fifth of the state budget to measures that will curb climate change.
Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN’s framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), said the draft law is “an excellent example of the Paris agreement. It sets a long-term goal, provides incentives on scaling up emissions technologies and cares about a good transition for the workforce.”
According to The Guardian, there will be “just transition” contracts drawn up that will shut down most Spanish coal mines in return for early retirement packages, training for clean energy jobs and environmental restoration. The government will partly finance these deals via auction returns from the sale of emissions rights. The Spanish government has also scrapped a controversial “sun tax” that stopped the country’s booming renewable energy sector.
The new law will also mandate a 35 percent electricity share for green energy by 2030. SolarPower Europe chief executive James Watson said that this law should be “a wake-up call to the rest of the world.”
Within 11 years, energy efficiency will improve by 35 percent, and government and public sector authorities will be leasing buildings that nearly reach zero-energy. Spain has its sights on going carbon neutral, and it is leading the charge in the battle against climate change.