(Estimated reading time: 2,58 minutes) – Audio version of article available.
Energy is an essential part of life. It meets human needs all while creating industrial, commercial, and social wealth.
However, producing energy from fossil fuels increases climate change and degrades air quality, which deteriorates ecosystems and is harmful to health.
Spain’s current energy model is highly dependent on fossil fuels that come from abroad. This means that we always depend on the ups and downs in the international oil and natural gas market, which leads to a huge deficit in the trade balance.
Bearing this in mind, and in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, working toward renewable energies would clearly provide Spain with great benefits, such as savings on fossil fuel importations, improved air quality and public health, and the creation of new jobs.
The environmental results achieved are already there to see. According to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, in the year 2020, CO2 emissions worldwide decreased by 14%, thanks to an increase in electricity generated by renewable sources and the decreased use of coal.
Today, this means that the activity sector that produces the most greenhouse gas emissions is transport, at 27 %, while electricity generation only accounts for 10% of total emissions.
Even so, in addition to making efficient use of resources and reducing fossil fuel dependency, a sustainable energy model should make it easy for consumers to play an active role, either directly or indirectly, in all phases of the energy activity chain. It should be capable of meeting their needs, and also capable of benefiting the environment with smart, well-organised management of energy generation.
We can already see this shift in perspective in the European Union. For example, the Renewable Energy Directive requires that consumers be guaranteed the right to produce, consume, store, and sell their own renewable energy. Moreover, the Directive that establishes standards for the electricity market defines a new role: citizen energy communities, which will play a very important role for people to participate in the electricity sector. How? By improving energy independence and providing greater freedom of choice for consumers.
If we follow the “Hoja de ruta del Autoconsumo (Self-Supply Roadmap)” and the “Estrategia de Almacenamiento energético (Energy Storage Strategy)”, the end goal is in 2050. Spain will become a country that is not only climate neutral, but also more energetically independent, and therefore, freer.