Spain increases its bets on green hydrogen and biogas in draft energy plan

Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of Spain. Photo: Twitter

As part of a broad upgrade of its energy and climate ambitions, Spain will double its biogas production target by 2030 and almost triple its green hydrogen goal, according to a draft of the government’s strategy released on the 28th of June.

In the new climate plan, higher targets have been set for solar and wind power capacity, as well as energy storage.

In Spain, energy is a hot topic ahead of national elections next month, with the opposition People’s Party (PP) pushing to reverse a planned phase out of nuclear power plants.

In the draft climate strategy, a target of 11 gigawatts (GW) is set for electrolysers to produce green hydrogen, up from 4 GW previously, and the target for biogas production is doubled to 20 terawatt hours (TWh).

According to the new plan, wind generation capacity will increase to 62 GW from 50 GW, solar generation capacity will increase to around 76 GW, and power storage capacity will increase to 22 GW.

It is estimated that renewables will generate 81% of the country’s electricity by 2030.

With the mix of measures, the country will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% from 1990 levels. The previous target, set by the Spanish parliament in 2021, was 23%.

The draft “takes new steps in the right direction in the fight against the climate emergency but still falls short” when it comes to emission reduction, said Pedro Zorrilla, head of Greenpeace Spain’s climate change campaign. He added that emissions should be reduced by at least 55%.

Approximately 294 billion euros will be invested through the plan, with 85% coming from the private sector and the rest coming from public sources.

According to such estimates, Spain has become an “incredibly attractive and trustworthy country,” Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said on Wednesday.

As part of the plan, Spain will phase out nuclear energy and exit coal by 2025, instead of 2030 as previously planned.

According to Sanchez and Ribera, the opposition PP party did not explain who will pay for extending the lives of nuclear power plants.

“Who would pay for it? The citizen directly or the state, which is again the citizen indirectly,” Sanchez said on Wednesday, while the energy minister said that keeping the reactors on would be uneconomical.

By the end of the decade, the plan is expected to create more than half a million jobs and boost the economy by 2.5%.

Like other European countries, Spain had to submit an updated draft proposal to the European Commission by the end of June.

With the publication of the draft, a public consultation will begin, which will end on Sept. 4. The final plan is due by June next year.

Commentary from the PP was not immediately available.

Source: Euractiv


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