Spain Subsidies

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Spain–1,177 million Euros between 2014 and 2016

Spain is a country that has been fossil fuel dependent and that is still far from being a significant producer of renewable energy. According to data from the World Bank Group on Energy Consumption, in 2015, 72.9% of the energy consumed in Spain was from fossil fuels.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Climate Action Network (CAN) released the results of the study called Monitoring Europe’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies in September 2017. This study highlights that “Spain’s transparency and reporting on fossil fuel subsidies is relatively poor. – … – The fossil fuel estimates (in this study) are therefore likely to be underestimates.” It estimates that between 2014 and 2016, Spain’s subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption was an average of 1,711 million euros per year.

The study mentions that the extent of Spain’s subsidies goes beyond its borders. Through the country’s export credit agency, Spain has supported oil and gas projects in Angola, Costa Rica, Kenya, Romania and Turkey worth an average of 56 million euros per year between 2014 and 2016. A part of the study says that “Spain, as part of the European Union (EU), has repeated its commitment to phase out the fossil fuel subsidies every year since 2009.”

The Framework Plan for Coal Mines and Mining Communities 2013-2018, was set in October 2013, and states that because of the intermittent character of the renewable energy (meaning the dependency on meteorological conditions), it is necessary to preserve energy sources that guarantee the energy supply under any kind of circumstances. In the case of Spain, the main source would be coal and its exploitation would only be possible if it ensures a set of standards that mitigates the impact in the environment. One of the objectives of this plan is to ease the closure of mines that under the conditions proposed to preserve the environment are not able to be financially efficient. In accordance with this scenario, the plan to help the affected communities in the transition to other ways of employment involves several subsidies and requires the use if at least 7.5% of autochthonous coal in the generation of energy.

The time frame of the current policy will come to an end soon and the achievement of its objectives is still unclear. The future of this subject is primarily unclear as it is with, basically, all the plans needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement in the short and long term. Spain will need to develop a well-integrated program when preparing its next plan to reduce its greenhouse emissions. This plan will include changes in tax policies for the different industries and preserving the environment while growing the economy. Businesses will need to find another way to produce and consume energy.

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