Renewable energy and carbon capture

Renewable energy consumption, policy and general regulation

Give details of the production and consumption of renewable energy in your country. What is the policy on renewable energy? Describe any obligations on the state and private parties for renewable energy production or use. Describe the main provisions of any scheme for registration of renewable energy production and use and for trade of related accounting units or credits.

The generation of renewable energy has been strongly promoted by the public authorities by means of special economic conditions (mainly financial incentives) applicable to these types of projects.

The volume of gross renewable energy production in 2018 stood at 90-92TWh. The contribution of renewables to overall electricity generation was 40.1 per cent (33.7 per cent in 2017). This was an increase of the total contribution of renewable energy to overall electricity generation compared to 2017.

According to statistics provided by system operator Red Eléctrica de España, the main renewable sources and their percentage of total generated electricity in Spain are hydroelectric (13.2 per cent), photovoltaic solar (2.9 per cent), thermosolar (1.7 per cent), wind power (19 per cent), waste (0.9 per cent) and other (1.4 per cent).

Wind energy

Describe, in general terms, any regulation of wind energy.

The key pieces of legislation regulating wind energy in Spain are the following:

  • Law No. 24/2013 of 26 December 2013 of the electricity sector;
  • Royal-Decree No. 413/2014 of 6 June 2014 regulating electricity generation using renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste;
  • Order IET/1045/2014 of 16 June 2014 approving the remuneration parameters for standard facilities applicable to certain facilities generating electricity using renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste;
  • Order IET/1459/2014 of 1 August 2014 approving remuneration parameters and establishing the mechanism for allocating the specific remuneration regime for new wind and photovoltaic facilities in non-mainland electricity systems;
  • Royal-Decree-Law No. 9/2013 of 12 July 2013 adopting urgent measures to guarantee the financial stability of the electricity system;
  • Royal-Decree-Law No. 2/2013 of 1 February 2013 on urgent measures in the electricity system and the financial sector;
  • Royal-Decree-Law No. 1/2012 of 27 January 2012 suspending the procedures for pre-allocation of remuneration and eliminating financial incentives for new facilities generating electricity using renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste; and
  • Royal-Decree-Law No. 6/2009 of 30 April 2009 adopting certain measures in the energy industry and approving energy assistance relief.

The autonomous regions may also have passed regulations of their own.

Facilities for the production of wind energy must obtain an administrative authorisation after following a complex administrative procedure.

Although there has been a reduction in the public funds devoted to the promotion of this type of energy, operators still receive financial incentives from the authorities according to the specific and complex rules contained in the regulations mentioned above.

Solar energy

Describe, in general terms, any regulation of solar energy.

The production of solar energy is governed by the main rules mentioned in question 20 and is subject to a very similar regime from the legal and economic perspectives.

Hydropower, geothermal, wave and tidal energy

Describe, in general terms, any regulation of hydropower, geothermal, wave or tidal energy.

In addition to the general regulations on the power production industry and renewable energies referred to in the preceding questions, there are some specific provisions applicable to the hydropower and wave and tidal energy industries. Specifically, the Law on water approved by Legislative Royal-Decree No. 1/2001 of 20 July 2001 and one of its developing regulations (Royal-Decree No. 849/1986 of 11 April 1986) provide for certain specific rules applicable to this kind of power production facility.

Regarding the geothermal energy industry, in addition to the general rules on power production, Law No. 22/1973 of 21 July 1973 on mines provides for specific rules that would also apply.


Describe, in general terms, any regulation of production of energy based on waste.

The general rules on the power generation industry referred to in the previous questions may apply; in addition, provisions contained in Law No. 22/2011 of 28 July 2011 on waste and polluted land should be taken into account for this purpose.

Biofuels and biomass

Describe, in general terms, any regulation of biofuel for transport uses and any regulation of biomass for generation of heat and power.

Law No. 34/1998 of 7 October 1998 on hydrocarbons is the main regulation on biofuels in Spain. This law has been complemented by certain additional provisions regarding biofuels, such as:

  • Royal-Decree No. 1597/2011 of 4 November 2011 regulating bio-fuels and bioliquid sustainability criteria, the National Sustainability Assessment System and the dual value of certain biofuels for calculation purposes;
  • Ministerial Order ITC/2877/2008 of 9 October 2008 establishing a mechanism to promote the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels for transport purposes; and
  • Royal-Decree No. 61/2006 of 31 January 2006 determining the specifications for petrol, gasoil, fuel oil and liquid petroleum and regulating the use of certain biofuels.

The installation and operation of biomass plants is subject to several administrative and environmental authorisations, as well as registrations within public registries. As with the rest of power generation plants under the special regime, if certain conditions are met a special remuneration system applies. There are different plans, both at national and regional level, promoting the use of biomass, especially those of forestry and agriculture.

Carbon capture and storage

Describe, in general terms, any policy on and regulation of carbon capture and storage.

Law No. 40/2010 of 29 December 2010 on geological carbon dioxide storage establishes the main regulations on this matter. In addition, the rules contained in Legislative Royal-Decree No. 1/2016 of 16 December 2016 on integrated pollution control should be taken into account.

In addition, there are the government measures on forestry and reforestation, such as the 2002 to 2032 Spanish Forestry Plan.