by 👨💻 Simon Baxendale
Spain plans switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2050 and cut emissions by 90%
Many nations across the globe are doing what they can to best preserve the environment around us – and while there has been perhaps more focus on plastic waste this year than any other environmental concern in the press, talk is returning to that of renewable energy. Carbon footprint reduction and emission cutting have both been high on many international agendas in light of rising CO2 emissions and the effect fossil fuels continue to have upon the natural world around us. Spain, however, appears to be one of few nations who are actively looking at removing the need for fossil fuels entirely within relatively few years.
The European country has confirmed it will seek to transfer all of its energy generation to that of renewable-only by 2050, a goal which stretches ahead of those suggested by the European Union, and which will mean that solar and wind power, largely, will be heavily invested-in over the next 31 years. The nation also appears to be considering issuing outright bans on fracking wells and oil drilling as a result of scrapping their licensing system. For some time, current licenses will still allow firms to drill down and extract – but now new licenses will be offered or established in future.
Spain already has a good track record for renewable energy, having reportedly claimed up to a third of its generated power from such sources last year. The main focuses for the country will be solar and wind power generation, though they have also invested heavily in hydroelectricity in recent years.
James Watson, CEO and representative for SolarPower Europe, welcomed Spain’s news with open arms. “Spain’s energy ambition is a wake-up call to all the other states across the world as it demonstrates what we know – it is possible to power large economies by renewable in the very near future.”
Spanish authorities will be overseeing a comprehensive transition over the next three decades, which will also entail the strategic closure of coal mines, ensuring all workers are offered retirement deals.
Spain is not the only country to have set out plans this year to abolish majority fossil fuel usage – the UK recently confirmed it will be working towards a pledge of 80% emission reduction by 2050 – but Spain’s 100% renewable pledge is one which is both inspiring and exciting to environmental enthusiasts.
The confirmation comes as world leader gathered for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland. Naturalist Sir David Attenborough spoke at the opening ceremony on Monday, warning that climate change is humanity's greatest threat in thousands of years:
Sir David Attenborough Urges Leaders To Tackle Climate Change [video]