Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Energy-saving measures proposed in Spain

A raft of 31 energy-saving measures has been proposed to Congress (i.e. Parliament) by Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian in announcing a 'Plan for Energy Efficiency and Savings' (Plan de Ahorro y Eficiencia Energética 2008-2011). The proposals are set to be adopted by the Council of Ministers on 1 August according to the linked report. Amongst the proposals will be the reduction of vehicle speed limits on access roads to agglomerations by 20 per cent to 80 km/h, as already exists in Barcelona (but not for example, in my experience, in Valencia) and according to the proposals will come into effect in three months. From what I can understand of these proposals, they do not included a general reduction of the speed limit on highways outside of agglomerations.

As an immediate measure the government plans to encourage the use of low-energy lightbulbs by delivering a voucher in 2010 to each household, redeemable in shops for two energy-saving lightbulbs, at a cost of €105mio to the government. According to the Minister, if all 350 million conventional lightbulbs in the country were to be replaced, this would already go one third of the way to meeting the savings targets in the proposals.

Other proposals include imposing restrictions on the minimum and maximum temperatures in public buildings to 26 degrees and 21 degrees, respectively, for the use of air-conditioning in summer or heating in winter. (Incidentally, similar restrictions were introduced in Japan some years ago, although there the air-conditioning was limited to a sweltering 28 degrees!) Mobile telephone operators are to be encouraged to provide coverage in all railway lines and subway systems, to encourage their use and the propsals will 'agree' to municipalities and communities extending weekend schedules for such subway systems. Fleets of public vehicles will be required to use 20 per cent biofuels, etc. The aim is to reduce energy bills by €4,140mio (€4.14bn) by 2011, for a saving of about 44 million barrels of imported crude oil per annum. The Minister quoted one of (former U.S. President) J. F. Kennedy's most famous pieces of rhetoric in support of the proposals:




"Do not ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"

to encourage all residents in Spain to accept thir necessity.

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