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If we only use renewables, will there be enough energy for everyone?

There is a lot of talk about clean energy but If we only use renewables, will there be enough energy for everyone?

Yes, and we are on the road to achieving it. There are already countries where 100% of the electricity generated comes from renewable sources. And many others where the percentage exceeds 80%, such as Austria, Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Costa Rica, Central African Republic and Brazil.

The data on the development of new renewable capacity in the world are promising: Renewable energies already dominate the global market for new generation capacity and have become the cheapest source of electricity in many markets.

According to data from IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, in 2020 global generation capacity based on renewable energies increased by 260 GW, more than four times the increase in the amount generated from other sources..

Graph of annual installed capacity, data from IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency).
Graph of annual installed capacity, data from IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency).

The data for electricity consumption are also encouraging: In Spain, 2020 was an exceptional year for clean energy: 44% of the electricity consumed comes from renewable sources. This is a record figure.


Renewable energy vs climate change

The data shows that 100% renewable generation is possible, but we now know that this is also necessary. Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity today and restricting it is the only way to ensure our survival. A commitment to clean energies that do not generate emissions is a key factor to achieve this.

To control the increase in the global average temperature of the planet and meet the global commitment as a result of the Paris Agreements, the European Union (EU) is committed to becoming the first climate-neutral zone by 2050. To achieve this, it plans to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and this will require a greater proportion of renewable energies. It specifically proposes to increase to 40% the obligatory target for the contribution of renewable energy sources to the EU's energy mix.

"The EU is committed to becoming the first climate-neutral zone by 2050. To achieve this, it proposes to increase to 40% the contribution of renewable energy sources in the energy mix".

Objectives of the European Green Deal.

In line with European objectives, by 2030 the Spanish government proposes to achieve an electricity system with at least 74% of electricity generation from renewable energies. The roadmap to achieve this is established in the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan and the Ecological Transition Law.

Objectives for 2030

renewable generation. 55% reduction in emissions (compared to 1990).
renewable generation.
renewable generation (100% in 2040).

We will make our contribution as the integrated electricity company with the lowest emissions in Mainland Spain. 85% of our mainland energy production in the first 9 months of 2021 was already free of CO2 emissions.

By 2030 we will have invested €31,000 million in order to make 80% of all our energy production free of CO2. And by 2040 we will be 100% renewable, this will be ten years ahead of the limit set by the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.


Renewables to lower the electricity bill

At least 80% of the world's population lives in countries that import fossil fuels. At the same time, all countries have the potential to produce renewable energies and this will help them gain energy security and independence, increasingly at a lower cost.

"All countries have the potential to produce renewable energies and this will help them gain energy security and independence".

World Energy Transitions Outlook, International Renewable Energy Agency.

We are currently experiencing an increase in the price of electricity in the wholesale market throughout Europe caused by the high price of gas. We need gas to produce electricity because, at the moment, renewable energies do not give the necessary stability to be able to guarantee the electricity supply. That is why it is so important to progress in the development of these technologies.

Energy produced from renewable sources is cheaper and also reduces our enormous dependence on fossil fuels and consequently on other countries. The sooner we achieve a decarbonised economy, the sooner we leave behind this dependence and the extreme price variations associated with it.


Research for a renewable future

The higher the contribution of renewable energies to the energy mix, the lower the price of electricity. To achieve this, research in this area is decisive:

Icono energía solar.

To improve technology

Innovation in materials has made photovoltaic plants competitive even from an economic point of view compared to energy from fossil sources, according to IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency). As a result of research, global photovoltaic capacity increased from 40 GW in 2010 to 580 GW in 2019.

Icono digitalización

To digitalise distribution networks

The electricity grid will need to assume this strong growth in renewable energies, which by 2030 will double the rhythm of the historical maximum recorded in the previous period (2000-2017).

Icono de energía renovable

To develop storage systems

Renewable energies are inevitably subject to variations in availability. That is why we need to be able to store it on a large scale and make it available to the electrical system when it is needed. Currently the systems most used are lithium and flow batteries (as well as hydroelectric pumping systems), but progress is gradually being made in new materials and technological solutions to improve efficiency and storage costs.

We know that clean energy is the most cost-effective source of electricity, both for the planet and for our wallets. We already have the technology to accelerate the transition to an emission-free generation model. The future can only be renewable.










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