Spain on track to phase out nuclear and coal by 2035

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Spain is in the process of phasing out nuclear and coal-fired power and dismantling several oil-fired power stations between 2025 and 2035, and replacing them with renewable energies. However, the country will need to invest in energy storage technologies to enhance security of supply.

The gradual phase-out of nuclear power, coal-fired power and several oil-fired power stations between 2025 and 2035 is part of the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, which sets specific targets for reducing carbon emissions, according to the latest report from GlobalData, “Spain Power Market” Outlook to 2030, update 2021 – Market trends, regulations and competitive landscape ”.

Nuclear power generation capacity is expected to decline rapidly from 7.1 GW in 2020 to 3 GW by 2030

The Spanish government will begin its nuclear phase-out in 2027, with a plan to complete it by 2035, and capacity is expected to decline rapidly from 7.1 GW in 2020 to 3 GW by 2030, translating into a decline of the production share of 22.5. % to 7.8%, GlobalData said.

The nuclear power plants are operated by Iberdrola and Endesa.

The country had started the process of phasing out coal-fired electricity in 2020 by dismantling around seven coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 3.95 GW. The aim is to stop the production of electricity from coal by 2025 and gradually dismantle several oil-fired power stations by 2030 to meet Spain’s carbon emission reduction targets.

The country has been a net importer of electricity since 2016, and its electricity imports will increase further

However, gas capacity is expected to remain nearly constant from 2021 to 2030, GlobalData said.

Although Spain is rapidly moving towards a green energy future, the phasing out of coal and nuclear power plants in a short period of time may endanger the security of supply. The country has been a net importer of electricity since 2016, and its electricity imports will rise further if the void caused by the exit from coal and nuclear is not filled by renewable energy sources.

Rohit Ravetkar, energy analyst at GlobalData, said the phase-out of coal and nuclear power plants and the phase-out of oil-fired power plants would be offset by a simultaneous and gradual increase in renewable energy capacity.

“Due to the intermittent nature of renewables, the country will need to invest significantly in energy storage technologies once coal and nuclear power are out of the production mix,” Ravetkar said.


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