Spain- Taking its foot off the pedal and increasing renewables


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.




spanish speed The government calculates that the reduction in road speed translates to a 15% saving on fuel and a considerable cut in Spain's energy bill.

"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 

span wind 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.

Spain is finding it hard  to fund its clean energy targets as the government slashes spending to meet deficit-reduction targets, Sebastian said at a Bloomberg function . Photovoltaic plant operators are threatening to file lawsuits after Spain cut their subsidies for the next three years in a bid to balance the books.

Electric Cars

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. "

 Increasing Solar

span solar Spain is one of the most advanced countries in the development of solar energy, since it is one of the countries of Europe with more hours of sunshine. The Spanish government committed to achieving a target of 12 percent of primary energy from renewable energy by 2010 . Spain is the fourth largest manufacturer in the world of solar technology and exports 80 percent of this output to Germany  Total solar power in Spain was 4 GW by the end of 2010 and solar energy produced  2.7% of the electricity demand in 2010.


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  • Posted on April 22, 2011. Listed in:

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