24 Nov Global renewable energies and Spain’s potential
GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGIES AND SPAIN`S POTENTIAL
Coinciding with the end of 2021, the leaders of the world’s major powers meet to discuss the planet’s climate future under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. The 26th edition of the Climate Summit arrived in Glasgow with the intention of establishing limits to the increase in global warming, reducing emissions of polluting gases such as methane and promoting green energy.
In this context, it is worth asking what role the renewable energies will play in the future and how the commitment to clean energy is already today a business opportunity for those companies that are committed to prioritizing commitments to sustainability and the environment.
Renewable energies in the global energy mix
Renewables are a type of energy that come from a source that is not virtually depleted when used, such as solar, wind, geothermal or tidal energy; as opposed to fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas, which have a limited reserve.
The combination of all these energy sources represents the “energy mix”, which includes all kinds of uses, from electricity, transportation to heating. In 2019, about 11% of the energy produced globally came from renewable energy sources.
Share of primary energy from renewable energies. (Our World in Data, 2019).
In general, we see that in the last 50 years the generation of renewable energy has multiplied by 7 and that hydroelectric energy is the renewable energy source that contributes the most to the energy mix with more than 4,000 TWh, of a total that amounts to more of 7,000 TWh.
Global renewable energy generation. (Our World in Data, 2019).
Why is it important to invest in renewable energy sources?
First, renewable energy sources help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular CO2. .
A greater share of renewable energies in the energy balance reduces the dependence of countries on fossil-based products and, in addition, renewable energies can be found in every region of the planet, allowing a greater part of the energy mix to come from regional energy resources.
Finding more efficient energy sources with a lower carbon footprint is essential for us to reduce the impact of climate change. Taking into account that two of the sectors with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions are the electricity/heat generation and transport sectors, we need to promote these greener energy sources as soon as possible.
The potential of renewable energies in Spain.
The RECAI Index (Renewable Energy Country Attactiveness Index), prepared by Ernst & Young, measures the attractiveness of a country for investment and the development of projects for renewable energies and, in its latest edition, places Spain in the Top 10 of the world.
In 2019, around 98,000 GWh of renewable energy were generated in Spain, which represented 37.5% of the total annual energy generation. By 2020 that proportion increased to 43.6% and by March 2021, 53.7% of all electricity produced in Spain came from renewable sources.
The Spanish renewable mix is still led by wind energy, which accounts for 25.5% of the total energy generated, followed by hydro (17%), solar photovoltaic (7.5%) and solar thermal (1.8%), according to data from Red Eléctrica Española.
The Instituto de Comercio Exterior (ICEX), lists the points that make Spain a world reference country in terms of renewable energies:
- First class natural resources.
- An electrical system that allows integrating the maximum production of renewable energy.
- Solid Spanish industry that covers the entire value chain.
- Top-level renewable research and technology centers.
- Qualified and competitive workforce that employs more than 80,000 people directly and indirectly.
- Leadership in renewables from a technological and industrial point of view.
Objective: the decarbonization of the Spanish energy model.
Spain’s objective is to achieve the decarbonization of its energy model by 2050. Therefore we need to bet and invest in alternative energies that represent an opportunity to generate employment and economic growth.
The Law on Climate Change and Ecological Transition approved by the Spanish Congress divides this objective into two clearly differentiated phases, according to the ICEX.
1st phase / 2030
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990.
- Generate at least7.5% of electricity with renewable energy.
- Ensure 35% of the final consumption of energy from alternative sources.
- Improve energy efficiency by 35%.
2nd phase / 2050
- Reach 100% renewable energy.
- Reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 90%, based on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement against Climate Change.