Losing the roadmap: Renewable energy paralysis in Spain and its implications for the EU low carbon economy

Patricia Martínez Alonso, Richard Hewitt*, Jaime Díaz Pacheco, Lara Román Bermejo, Verónica Hernández Jiménez, Jara Vicente Guillén, Hans Bressers, Cheryl de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

After many years at the forefront of renewable energy (RE) implementation both in Europe and worldwide, Spain experienced a sudden transformation in 2012 to its RE development model in which national government backing and financial incentives for renewables were removed, throwing the RE sector into a paralysis which continues to the present day. This is in marked contrast to the case of the other major European RE leader, Germany, where it has been argued that RE implementation has produced a "regime shift" that has transformed the energy generation model to a new resilient pathway. In this paper, key differences between Spanish regions are identified in the way the RE implementation process has been carried out. The research brings these different characteristics into focus and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the RE implementation process in each region. If stakeholders at all levels are empowered and motivated towards the implementation process goal, it is less likely that a few, very powerful actors (e.g. multinational energy companies or governments) can dominate the process, and thus systemic instability can be reduced. In this way, lock-down situations like the current one can be avoided in future and a more resilient system can be designed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-694
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable energy
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Actor dynamics
  • Energy transition
  • Power relations
  • Regional level
  • Renewable energy
  • Resilience
  • 2023 OA procedure

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