AIMS Energy, 2015, 3(1): 1-12. doi: 10.3934/energy.2015.1.1

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A critical analysis of the Spanish electrical system: risks and opportunities by 2050

1 Departamento de Enxeñería Eléctrica, Universidade de Vigo, EEI, Campus de Lagoas-Marcosende, 36310 Vigo, Spain;
2 Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain

The Spanish electrical system is now in a position to take advantage of developments from the recent past. Many of its facilities, such as nuclear and coal power stations, have a useful life which will come to an end during the 2020-2030 decade [1] (from 2021 in the case of Vandellós 2, and up to 2028 in the case of Santa María de Garoña). The mankind is currently going through a global environmental crisis which includes greenhouse effect gas emissions as a major component [2]. These are closely linked to the energy system, particularly to electricity generation, and could be a determining factor in the future evolution of such a system. Clearly, such a crisis can potentially lead to serious difficulties in accessing energy for many people. The energy business sector has been undoing its ties to particular territories and has been expanding towards other countries to become more and more dependent on foreign capitals and decision-makers. Now that a stagnant period for electricity demand is being experienced, this does not favor new schemes. However, new proposals should be considered given that many infrastructures will soon be obsolete. In this paper some scenarios are proposed to contemplate the transition of the Spanish electrical system towards an energy model with the year 2050 in mind, where the goal is to lower greenhouse gas emissions [3]. One of the factors to be considered during this period should be the participation of renewable energies. Transport and mobility are also likely to undergo some changes, for similar reasons, and in this time frame they will increasingly be designed to use electricity.
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