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New Catalan energy model for 100% renewable energy by 2050

On Monday, 31 January 2017, the Catalan Government approved the final document of the Covenant for the Catalan Energy Transition with the aim of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050. The priorities are to place the citizen at the center of energy model, ensuring security of supply and to establish an essential instrument in the fight against pollution. The document has been discussed with the social partners and the energy sector, and now come to Parliament for the presentation and negotiation with political groups. It is the result of a participatory process, started in 2015. The Spanish section of EUROSOLAR has played a key role in the process, mainly in the 6th issue about democratization of energy systems.



Key issues:

1. Guaranteeing the fundamental right to access to energy and the protection of energy user rights

This area includes strategies aimed at achieving a more socially inclusive energy model. The access to energy and its availability is a fundamental right of citizens. The goal is to prevent situations of energy poverty with direct measures (such as the definition of a social good) or indirect (such as the introduction of energy saving and efficiency solutions to housing); to protect people at risk of exclusion, and improve the relationship with users supplying companies and their level of knowledge about the energy market.

2. Ensuring energy supply quality and reliability in their supply

Security and continuity of energy supply are important for the welfare and economic development of any society. Therefore, this axis strategies are as strengthening the diversification of energy supply outside; strengthening the diversification of energy supply interior (via ensure a wide range of operators and access to the maximum number of energy sources, especially renewables); decreasing dependence on foreign energy; and ensuring the quality and reliability of energy supplies (promoting smart grids or considering scenarios appropriate for deciding the Catalan nuclear policy during the transition to renewable new model, for example).

3. Achieving the highest level of energy efficiency in the Catalonia's economy and society

The savings and energy efficiency are key to ensure a sustainable energy model in Catalonia. In this regard, specific actions are proposed - such as the promotion of efficient technologies in different economic sectors (industry renewal process, deepen the implementation of electric vehicles, renovation of buildings to achieve energy buildings emissions almost zero or the deployment of 'smart grids') and the deepening of good practice by the Government of Catalonia.

4. Maximizing the use of renewable energy sources, primarily the native ones

The use of renewable energy, preferably local, should be an important part of the response to global challenges and specific renewable energy sources in Catalonia. Therefore, the following actions are proposed: the development of a regulatory framework that encourages the consumption from renewables, the development of distribution networks, a new tax system that allows the financing of these public policies, and work to make the different renewable resources available to the country. This latter aspect involves planning to determine the best locations, and integration of renewable energy projects in the region.

5. Promote the energy research and innovation as vectors of efficiency and creation of business activities

The momentum of the development of new technologies in energy and support for R & D related to energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy, should be used to have effective tools and generate value for the country. Therefore, the strategy includes actions such as the promotion of Energy Research Institute of Catalonia (IREC), favoring applied research in the field of electric vehicles, promoting research and innovation in specific energy fields (such as renewables, construction or energy storage) and structural actions, such as advances in intelligent network design or application of 'big data' energy system.

6. Democratization of energy and participation of society in the new energy model

A new renewable and distributed energy model requires the involvement of civil society in its construction. Citizens need to not only become an active part of the energy market, as a producer, manager and / energy- consumer, but also participate in decision-making. Therefore, the Catalan Government works to improve information and awareness of society and to increase specific trainings to enable people acting and engaging in the new energy model.

7. Exercise of the full powers in energy by Catalan institutions within the framework of the European Union

The achievement of a full deployment of the new energy model, requires a strengthened authority of Catalan institutions within the framework of the European Union. The necessary actions need to include the development of legislation and regulations themselves, the design of a new model of governance with the relevant regulators and operators of energy markets and aswell the involvement of communities as generators and energy consumers.

The full press release in Catalan is available here.