Spain achieves renewable energy target with flying colours

by Deborah Cater
Spain exceeds renewable energy target in 2020

In 2020, 21.4% of energy consumption in Spain came from renewable energy sources. In doing so, the country exceeds the European target of 20%.

It must be said the corona pandemic contributed to the achievement of 21.4%. Without the pandemic, Spain would probably have reached somewhere between 19.5% and 19.9% last year. This is evident from an analysis by the Observatory for Energy Transition and Climate Action, a project of the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3). Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera was present on Monday at the presentation of the research results.

Spain takes a significant step with the 2020 results compared to those of 2019, when 18.1% of energy came from sustainable sources. On the one hand, this is a consequence of a decreased energy demand in 2020. On the other, it is the result of a significant increase in renewable energy production.

The European Commission is currently working on a system of standards to reduce emissions of the harmful greenhouse gas CO2 by 55% by 2030. To achieve this, a significant increase in the share of renewable energy is necessary. For Spain, with a commitment of 42% renewable energy by 2030, this does not seem to be a problem.

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CO2 reduction of 13.6% in 2020

As both energy demand decreased and renewable energy increased, CO2 emissions in Spain decreased by 13.6% last year. That is the largest decrease ever recorded over a period of one year. The decrease was greatest in April, when CO2 emissions fell by an impressive 31%. In total, Spain emitted 272.7 million tonnes of CO2 last year, which is the lowest emission measured since 1990.

The Netherlands scores poorly on renewable energy

Although production of sustainable energy in the Netherlands increased by 24%last year, the Netherlands scores poorly at European level when it comes to green energy. It is not yet known whether the Netherlands achieved the target of 14% by 2020.

In 2019, the share of green energy in total energy consumption was 8.7%. In 2018, this was 7.4%, the lowest percentage of all EU member states. This means the Netherlands is not only well below the European average of 18%, but also below the national target of 14%.

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