Lowering the Speed Limit
Last month Spain lowered its maximum speed limit from 120kmph down to 110kmph to try to save on its fuel bill. Spain depends heavily on imported fuel and about 13% of its oil usually comes from Libya.
"We are going to go a bit slower and in exchange we will consume less petrol and pay less money," as the Minister put it.
They point to studies suggesting that a 10km/h reduction in speed saves closer to 5% on fuel rather than 15%. The government's own figures suggest it could forfeit large sums in tax revenue due to the fuel savings. And the bill for changing the road signs for just four months runs to 250,000 euros.
Many Spaniards are sceptical about the change believing rather that it is a ruse to raise funds through more speeding fines. Spain's concern is that the turmoil could spread to other oil-producing countries and send the cost rocketing and that it needs to take sensible precautions now.
Alongside the emergency speed restriction, the government has approved a series of far less contentious measures for the medium and long term. Altogether, they are intended to cut the country's total fuel consumption by almost 5%.
The measures include subsidising the cost of energy-efficient car tyres, installing energy-saving light bulbs in small towns and a 5% cut in the price of tickets on commuter trains, and the inevitable public education campaign.
Doubling its Wind Power Capacity
Meanwhile Spain plans to almost double its wind power capacity by 2020. And this is at the same time as the government faces legal action from investors over cuts in clean energy subsidies, Industry, Tourism and Trade Minister Miguel Sebastian said who said the Government was going to support the expansion of renewable energy.
The Government also has subsidies of up to 20% of the cost of an electric car. As Transfer reports this is not surprising given the amount of wind energy that is lost .
"Studies of Red Electrica in Spain demonstrated that in 2014 about 2% of Spanish wind energy will be wasted because of a low use of nocturnal energy. A widespread introduction of electric vehicles could minimize this problem. The country could take advantage of the energy surplus, as the majority of electrical vehicles are being recharged during the night. "