Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal said yesterday that in 20 years our country is to be the one with cleaner energies with latest technologies, in addition to being equipped with a modern and integrated network system.
Nadal said that Spain is called to be an energy superpower both in solar and wind. Although renewable have not yet the price of conventional energy, there are signs such as the learning curve acceleration, lower costs of PV or advances in wind energy technology that suggest that this situation will change in about 10, 15 or 20 years. Meanwhile, ” gas is going to have a key role,” he recalled.
“Getting to this stage is the challenge facing energy policy,” he said. In his view, the transition to a new energy economy requires agreement among all political parties to make a safe transition without uncertainties.
Learning from the past
In this regard, he explained that, firstly, we must learn from the past and not make the same mistakes. “We can not bring the future at the expense of the Spanish electricity consumer,” he said in this regard, while recalling that during years 2007 and 2008 Spain installed more renewables than anywhere else in the world and paid for the learning curve of the rest. “This can not happen again –he claimed-. We can not do it alone.”
Secondly, “we desperately need the interconnections” an aspect in which while acknowledging that there has been significant progress it is also true that “much remains to be done.” Secretary of State for Energy said that by being isolated we get “very expensive” since it “requires us to have two systems“, one renewable and another conventional.
Thirdly, he stressed that the situation that has occurred around the tariff deficit “can not be repeated” so that “every time a cost is introduced in the system what is being done must be known,” he added, and make the energy transition with the lowest possible cost. The efficiency was also an important point for Nadal among the priorities to advance the transition.
The picture in Spain according to BP report
Alberto Nadal made these reflections during the presentation in Madrid of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016, the Global Report on energy markets prepared annually by the company, which precisely shows how renewables have lost weight in the Spanish energy mix of 2015, as has happened to nuclear and hydropower energy.
The lower contribution of the latter made coal consumption grew by 23.9% compared to 2014. As a result, CO2 emissions also increased by 6.8%, while in the EU they only rose 1, 3%.
However, globally, it was the only fuel that lost market share in 2015 falling to constitute 29.2% of the energy mix. This decrease was due to the fall in consumption in the US and China, although in this country it remains the dominant fuel, accounting for 64% of energy consumption.
Returning to Spain, the energy mix was then the following: oil (45%), natural gas (18.5%), coal (10.7%), nuclear (9.6%), hydropower (4, 7%) and renewable energies (11.5%).
Energy consumption grows
The Statistical Review 2016 report reveals that in Spain energy consumption during 2015 experienced a turnaround and has returned to the path of growth with a rise of 1.7%, compared to the falls recorded since 2008 (with the exception of the rebound recorded in 2010).
Specifically, the energy consumption was 134.4 million tons of oil equivalent, but it is still far from regaining the 2007 record when 158 million tons of oil equivalent were consumed, it warns.
Oil continues to dominate
Globally, the report shows a slowdown in growth of global energy consumption, a change in the mix towards fuels with lower carbon content and an increase in renewable energies as a result of their cost reduction.
Oil production grew faster than its consumption, and more than ever since 2014, for the second consecutive year, with 2.8 million more barrels per day, ie, an increase of 3.2%. The United States remained the largest producers with the largest annual increase. While falling prices resulted in a reduction of the number of wells in operation of around two thirds, those that remained operational increased productivity.
More natural gas
In 2015 both demand and production of natural gas increased. This grew by 2.2%, with the US (+ 5.4%), Iran (+ 5.7%) and Norway (+ 7.7%) being the countries that recorded highest growth. In the European Union, however, production fell sharply, with the Netherlands recording the sharpest drop in the world (-22.8%).
BP highlights the change that occurred last year in LNG trade flows, moving from Asian markets to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. This change has led to a convergence in prices probably heralding a scenario of further market integration of natural gas worldwide, it notes.
As for the other energy sources, coal production fell 4% mainly due to the fall in the US, Indonesia and China, nuclear power grew by 1.3% and so did the production of hydroelectricity in 1%, with China being the largest producer in the world.
Renewable energies accounted for 6.7% of world electricity generation compared to 2% a decade ago, with the largest increases in China and Germany.