Expert energy panel urges more renewables, tax on CO2

Panel recommends more renewables, tax on CO2 for Spain to meet 2030 cleaner energy targets. Photo: El Confidencial

A 14-member expert panel set up by Spain’s government at the behest of Congress to advise on energy policies has issued a 546-page report that calls for a firm commitment to renewable energy and a new tax on carbon emissions that will result in reduced electricity prices to the consumer and enable Spain to end electricity generation from coal-fired power plants by 2030.

The report calls for a small increase in gasoline prices to consumers of just 2 percent, while electricity cost to the consumer would fall by nearly 7 percent. If adopted by the government, the policy changes outlined in the report would see a steep 28 percent hike in the cost of industrial fuel oil as a result of a tax applied to energy from fossil fuels.

Electricity produced by coal-fired plants would disappear by 2030, but the report also calls for a 50-year increase in the life of nuclear power plants. The plan outlined in the report calls for a reduction of carbon emissions in non-industrial sectors of 26 percent from 2005 levels, an 27 percent increase in energy production from renewable sources and a 30 percent net energy savings overall.

► Download PDF in Spanish of panel’s energy transition recommendations…

The report was approved after eight months of work by a team of 14 energy experts and was approved by 11 votes in favor from representatives of Spain’s federal government and congressional deputies from the Partido Popular (PP), Socialist party (PSOE), Ciudadanos, the Partido Nacionalista Vasco (PNV), Foro Asturias, the CEOE business federation and the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) trade union federation. Representatives of Podemos, the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) party and the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) labour federation abstained on the final vote.

► Read More in Spanish at EFEverde, El Confidencial and HuffPost en español …

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