The Basque Energy Strategy to mobilise an investment of nearly 11,000 million euros by 2020.
Energy efficiency, renewables, natural gas and technological R&D are the fundamental pillars
• Energy savings are expected to release revenue to the tune of up to 5,000 million euros and renewable generation to increase until it accounts for 14% of the primary energy demand.
• The investment of nearly 11,000 million euros will have an impact equivalent to 1.6% of the Basque GDP and ensure over 14,000 jobs a year. The Administration will mobilise direct investments and subsidies that will exceed 1,770 million euros, 16% of the total.
• It will drive sustainable economic development leading to emissions being cut in 2020 by 2.5 million tons of CO2 a year, 18% down on the figures for the 2005 benchmark year.
• The long-term view is highly important and investments will be encouraged in energy technology R&D, in order to convert Basque companies into an international benchmark that generates stable first-rate employment.
Bilbao, 7 June 2012.- The Basque Government has desgined the new Basque Energy Strategy 2020, whose main goal is to progress towards a more competitive energy system, which consoldiates a low carbon and secure supply. These premises are based on measures aimed at reducing energy consumption by 17%, increasing the use of renewables up to 14% of the primary energy demand and fostering natural gas as a transition energy source to replace oil. Investments to the tune of 10,710 million euros are therefore expected to be mobilised.
The new directives of the Energy Strategy will drive sustainable energy development by means of measures and policies in three main areas: energy savings, increasing the use of renewable sources and the use of natural gas, along with fostering the Basque industrial sector of the energy to drive competitiveness, employment and wealth for the Basque Country.
The established targets are very ambitious as they seek to obtain energy savings of up to 17%, increase the use of renewable sources by 87%, increase the use of natural gas to 50% as a transition energy source and introduce 15% of energies as alternatives to petrol in transport.
Energy efficiency is one of the fundamental pillars of 3E2020. The energy savings target for 2020 is 1,050,000 tep/year (ton of equivalent petroleum), which means cutting the energy demand by 17% with respect to the rising tend in consumption. In turn, energy intensity, in other words, the amount of energy consumed to produce a wealth unit will be cut by 22% to generate the same quantity.
It should also be pointed out that this cut in consumption will have a notable impact on reducing the energy bill for consumers. It is estimated that between 4,000 and 5,000 million euros will be saved over 10 years for the consumer sectors. This means a significant release in energy.
Oil and the reduction in its consumption are a second area of attention, as the aim is to decouple the transport sector from its dependency on oil, which is currently over 95% dependent. The introduction of alternative energies is therefore foreseen in road transport by up to 15% and the electric vehicle will be boosted with 37,100 units on the market in 2020.
Increasing renewable energy sources is another of the priorities, with policies aimed at increasing the current used by 87%, which means upping the renewable share in final consumption from the current 8% to 14%. Therefore, it will be necessary in the medium-term to focus on mature technologies such as biomass and wind power, although without forgetting the long-term commitment and marine energies and marine wind power. The long-term challenge will be to attain 30% renewables by 2030.
As regards electricity production, the aim is to increase the role of co-generation and renewable in electricity generation, to reach 22% and 16% respectively.
Natural gas is another of the pillars of this strategy.
The Government is advocating consolidating the system to use this energy source to substitute oil, and which means a cleaner transaction towards the greater generalisation of renewable energy sources. The endeavours will be focused on increasing their stake in the energy mix from the current 42% to 50%, expanding the gas transport and storage infrastructures, along with analysing the environmental, economic and technical feasibility of the natural gas reserve potential in the Cantbrica-Basque Basin.
This will all lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. The target is to reduce 2.5 million tons of CO2 a year by 2020, in other words, 18% down on the figures posted for the benchmark year 2005.
One of the most innovative aspects of the Energy Strategy is industrial and technological development. A new differentiated and preferential policy area, which will be an additional contribution to sustainable energy development, to employment and to the growth of the society. It is a clear future commitment to the Basque Country as a technological hub, international benchmark in energy technologies and which is decidely committed to driving the companies of the Basque energy-technology sector.
The energy sector posted invoicing of 15,469 million euros in 2008 and employes 24,400 people in the Basque Country, exceeding the 1,900 people dedicicated to R&D in different energy fields. The sector is underpinned by a robust technologocial infrastructure made up of Te+ and IK4 technology corporations, the CIC energiGUNE (focused on basic research into energy storage), the Universiteis of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Deusto, Mondragón and Tecnum, along with a dozen R&D units of the main business groups.
The aim is to boost cooperation and the growth of the Basque companies in 8 priority technology areas that will have electricity as the common link. The target is to increase the investment in R&D of the energy sector companies over 5 years to go from the current €189 million to €300 M in 2015.
The strategy thus envisages specific measures to consolidate Basque companies that are driving forces, such as the Basque international benchmarks in smart networks, wind power and thermoelectric solar energy plants.
Knowledge is likewise planned to be generated in new emerging areas, such as energy storage and wave power, and there are therefore benchmark research centres such as CIC energiGUNE and the bimep (Biscay marine energy platform), the latter which is currently being installed.. The energy storage will be key for the future massive development of the renewable energy sources. On the other hand, marine energy offers excellent long-term perspectives, which requires research into efficient appliances to capture it.
And in third place, opportunities will be sought to invest in energy investments to develop new companies and services in the fields of electrifying transprot, energy service companies and non-conventional gas.
The Energy Strategy will involve investments to a total vlaue of 10,710 million euros. Specifically, the energy measures in all sectors will total €7,890 million and the investments in technology development R&D €2,820 million. The Public Administration will contribute 1,770 million euros (16% of the total) as subsidies to contribute to the investments required to develop the projects. And investments will also be made to foster energy renewal of its buildings and facilities, by means of improving energy efficiency and the fostering of the use of renewables.
The impact of the investment on Basque society will have notable returns. It is estimated that 61% of the investment required will be met by goods and services produced by Basque companies. This means an equivalent impact to 1.6% of the Basque GDP and ensuring 14,150 jobs a year. Further indirect benefits are estimated in terms of tax collection over 2,824 million euros between 2011 and 2020.