The Council of Ministers, at the request of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO), agreed yesterday to send the draft of the first update of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC) to the European Commission. At the same time, the draft, which can be consulted here, is subject to public consultation and information until September 4th. The proposed revision increases the ambition to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, curb the impact of global warming, and modernize the economy: emissions reduction increases from 23% to 32% by 2030. It is also planned to strengthen the industrial value chain and the country’s strategic autonomy, create over 500,000 jobs, and improve citizens’ health, avoiding half of premature deaths associated with air pollution by the end of the decade.
A MORE AMBITIOUS EUROPEAN CLIMATE AND ENERGY AGENDA
When the European Commission evaluated the PNIEC in 2021, it considered it not only as an example but also as a “solid foundation” for economic recovery after the impact of Covid-19. The draft for the update of the PNIEC uses the same technical and analytical foundations, relies on robust analytical models, and incorporates the increased climate ambition of the EU, the drive towards ecological transition resulting from the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan (PRTR), as well as other national advancements and the geopolitical shift caused by the war in Ukraine.
In recent years, the EU has established the Next Generation funds, which support the PRTR; it has increased its climate ambition with the Fit for 55 legislative package; it has launched the REPowerEU Plan to promote supply diversification and accelerate the energy transition in the face of war; and it is developing the Industrial Plan of the Green Deal, focused on strengthening strategic autonomy and productive capacities.
At the national level, in addition to the PRTR – with 40% of its €70 billion allocated to the green agenda – the Government has approved over 170 strategic documents and regulations under the Strategic Energy and Climate Framework, including subsequent Roadmaps and Sectoral Strategies such as those for Storage, Self-consumption, or Renewable Hydrogen, complemented by the More Energy Security Plan (+SE Plan).
AMBITIOUS CLIMATE AND ENERGY OBJECTIVES
The 2020 PNIEC proposed a 23% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, and this 2023 update increases the ambition to 32%. It also increases the share of renewables to 48% of final energy consumption – reaching 81% in electricity – and improves energy efficiency to 44%.
As a result, the draft PNIEC increases the planned policies and measures from the 78 in the 2020 PNIEC to 107. It includes specific actions for the first time in railways, aviation and navigation, rural development, improved integration of renewables with the environment and territory, cybersecurity, local electricity markets, gender perspective, capacity markets, life cycle analysis of buildings, among others, to strengthen the objectives and achieve greater social, economic, and environmental benefits.
BOOSTING RENEWABLE ENERGY AND STORAGE
One of the main actions in the draft update of the PNIEC is the promotion of renewable energy and storage and demand management to enhance their integration. By 2030, the aim is to have 62 GW of wind power installed, 76 GW of photovoltaic power, 4.8 GW of solar thermal power, 1.4 GW of biomass power, and 22 GW of storage.
GENERATION PARK IN THE PNIEC 2023-2030 SCENARIO (MW)
Furthermore, the ambition of objectives has been increased, such as the rehabilitation of 1.38 million homes, compared to 1.2 million previously planned, or having a fleet of 5.5 million electric vehicles. New targets have been introduced, in line with the new European goals, including consuming 73% renewable energy in buildings, achieving 11 GW of electrolyzers for green hydrogen production, and having 19 GW of self-consumption.
The draft update of the PNIEC aims to increase indigenous energy production by 10 percentage points, reaching 49%, which would result in savings exceeding 90 billion euros in fossil fuel imports throughout the period.
The draft update of the PNIEC estimates a mobilization of €294 billion in investment, of which 85% will come from private sources and 15% from public sources (including 11% from European funds). 40% of the investment will go towards renewable energy, 29% towards energy savings and efficiency, 18% towards energy networks, and 12% towards the electrification of the economy, which is expected to reach 34% by 2030.
It is estimated that the GDP will grow an additional 2.5% and that employment will increase by 430,000 to 522,000 jobs in 2025 and 2030, respectively, compared to the baseline scenario. Job creation will be distributed across all economic sectors, with a particular focus on industry, energy, and construction.
EMPLOYMENT IMPACT (THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE)
In addition to this clearly positive economic balance, there are other additional benefits. For example, the projected reduction in air pollutants emissions, such as particulate matter or nitrogen oxides, will significantly improve air quality. Premature deaths associated with pollution are expected to decrease by approximately 6,000, about half of the current number.
Likewise, the proposed revision of the 2023 PNIEC is in line with other environmental planning or strategy documents, such as the National Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, the State Strategic Plan for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, or the Water Planning, consolidating and enhancing the country’s green agenda.
MITECO launched a prior public consultation for the update of the PNIEC in August of last year, which received over 2,000 contributions. Three working sessions were also held in April and May with representatives from various sectors and civil society. Today marks the beginning of the public consultation period for the draft update of the PNIEC: comments can be sent to the email address bzn-actualiza-PNIEC@miteco.es until September 4th