In 2017, the final energy consumption in Spain, excluding non-energy uses, amounted to 84.9 Mtoe, a 2.9% increase compared to 2016. Transport, with a 43% share of consumption, keeps its leading role. It is followed by industry, with 24% of demand, although this sector has maintained its downward trend in the demand structure along with its declining contribution to GDP owing to the expansion of the services sector in the economy, a trend that has deepened during the financial crisis. The building sector makes up 30% of consumption, - 57.2% of which corresponds to the residential sector.

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector (normal climate)


The ODEX index displays a progress in energy efficiency of 1.6%/year (cumulatively 24%), throughout the 2000-2017. The residential sector stands out due to its heightened progression (+2.6%/year) in spite of the financial crisis, possibly due to technological and regulatory improvements in buildings and facilities. The slowest rate of progress can be seen in the service sector. The transport and industry sectors, owing to their greater share of demand, have contributed more to the overall progress, with improvements of 1.3%/year and 1.7%/year, respectively. Progress in industry slowed down during the financial crisis, which especially struck the construction and manufacturing industries. The residential and transport sectors have continued to improve, thanks to technological developments.

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index (ODEX)


The 2017-2020 National Energy Efficiency Action Plan establishes, in line with Article 3 of Directive 2012/27/EU, an indicative target of 87.24 Mtoe in 2020 for Spain. Likewise, in line with Article 7 of the aforementioned Directive, a binding target of cumulated final energy savings of 15.98 Mtoe was established for the 2014-2020 period. A number of alternative measures are available in view of complying with these targets, as well as a system of energy savings obligations for energy distributors and suppliers, which must make financial contributions to the National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE). The aforementioned fund and the system of energy savings obligations were established by Law 18/2014. This Law provides that a mechanism based on Energy Savings Certificates may be implemented, but the required regulatory development has not yet been carried out and obligations are therefore carried out through financial contributions to the Fund. The 2021-2030 Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) is the framework for future planning on energy and climate. In the field of energy efficiency, a target for a 39.5% improvement has been set, which translates into final energy consumption targets of 73.6 Mtoe in 2030 and final cumulative energy savings of 36.81 Mtoe (2021-2030 period).


Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
The National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE)yesThe National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE), assigned to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITECO) through the State Secretary for Energy, has as its purpose the financing of economic and technical assistance, training, information or other measures in order to increase energy efficiency in the different energy consuming sectors, in a way they contribute to achieve the national energy saving objective established by article 7 of Directive 2012/27/EU.HighLink
Aids Programme to singular projects for local entities promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy (DUS EELL Programme) yesThis programme is intended to foster projects carried out by municipalities (or groups of municipalities) with less than 20,000 inhabitants that belong to the same autonomous region or city. These projects will have to reduce CO2 emissions through actions in accordance with the specific targets of specific objectives 431 (improvements in building efficiency, infrastructure and public services), 451 (sustainable urban mobility) and 432 (use of renewable energy sources for electricity production and thermal uses in public buildings and infrastructure)from ERDF Funds – 2014-2020 ERDF Multi-regional Operational Programme (MROP). electricity production and thermal uses in public buildings and infrastructure). For this purpose, it is endowed with a budget of € 987.12 M, HighLink
Law 15/2012, of 27th December, on tax measures for energy sustainabilityyesThis law, which has been in force since 1st January 2013, permanently established tax measures intended to send energy end-users an appropriate price signal in order to promote the rational and efficient use thereof, in line with the basic principles that govern the fiscal, energy and environmental policy of the European Union and with the ultimate goal of acting as a stimulus to improve energy efficiency levels.MediumLink
Source: MURE


In 2017, 73% of the energy demand from buildings (including services and households) was concentrated in heating (40.4%) and electrical equipment (32.5%). Hot water, air conditioning and cooking amounted to 12.5%, 9% and 5.5% of consumption, respectively. Throughout the 2000-2008 period, the energy demand from all the buildings grew at a rate of 3.6%/year, chiefly due to electrical equipment (+5.7%/year) and heating (+2.6%/year). During the crisis, whose effects were most visible between 2008 and 2014, demand contracted at a rate of 0.9%/year, reducing demand by uses between 0.7%/year (cooking) and 4%/year (hot water), excluding electric appliances (+1.9%/year). Changes in behaviour and activity, as well as improvements in thermal facilities, explain the overall drop in demand. Since 2014, financial recovery has led to an increase in demand (+2.4%/year), induced by the reactivation of services and spending and consumption decisions in households.

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2 (normal climate)


Figure 4: Energy consumption per dwelling by end-use (except space heating)


Over the 2000-2017 period, the energy consumption in the residential sector increased by 3.3 Mtoe, mainly as a result of the growth in owner-occupied dwellings, especially before the financial crisis. Another factor was the increase in comfort, which arose from the increase of household equipment ownership as well as the move towards larger dwellings. These factors were offset by energy savings (-6 Mtoe), due to technological improvements in buildings and equipment, and to much lesser extent to the climatology (-0.7 Mtoe).

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households


Throughout the 2000-2010 period, the electricity consumption per employee increased by 1.8%/year, much faster than the total energy consumption per employee (+0.4%/year), due to lighting and electric facilities, which account for 60% of total energy demand in the service sector. Since then, the unit electricity consumption has decreased (-2.1%/year) due to a combination of the crisis effects, increased electricity prices and improvements in the equipment efficiency. This trend has been maintained after the financial recovery after 2014. The total unit consumption has decreased at a slower pace since 2012 with a few interruptions caused by increases in (thermal) demand induced by activity.

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)


The actions that have been implemented in the building sector are in accordance with European directives, and in particular with Directive 2012/27/EU (EED) and Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD), recently modified. In what concerns the latter directive, over the past few years, advances have been made towards its transposition through a number of regulatory provisions that increase the requirements of the Technical Building Code (Royal Decree 732/2019), the Regulation on Building Heating Installations (Royal Decree 238/2013) and energy certification for buildings (Royal Decree 235/2013). Concerning the first directive, the measures provided for by articles 4, 5, 6 and 7 are available. Among these measures, the Spanish Strategy for Energy Rehabilitation of the Building Sector, the measures for the energy renovation of public sector buildings, Law 15/2014 on the rationalisation of the Public Sector as well as economic support measures such as the PAREER Programs and the State Housing Plan stand out in particular. In what concerns public lighting, the Regulation on efficiency in public lighting facilities (Royal Decree 1890/2008), as well as technological improvements, have allowed for significant progress in energy efficiency in this field. This is completed by the Aid programme for the renewal of outdoor lighting facilities.

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Aids Program for Energy Retrofit of Existing Buildings (PAREER II)This programme was launched in late 2017 as a continuation of the previous programme, PAREER-CRECE, in order to further support the execution of measures to improve energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in existing buildings, regardless of their use and the legal nature of their holders. It is endowed with a € 204 M budget. HighLink
Law 15/2014, on the rationalisation of the Public SectorThis Law is intended to stimulate the acquisition of highly energy-efficient buildings by the public administration and binds them to acquire high-efficiency products.LowLink
2018-2021 State Housing PlanThe goals of this plan include urban and rural renovation and regeneration. The Plan is structured in nine programmes, among which the “Programme to foster improvements in energy efficiency and sustainability in housing” stands out. This programme is intended to fund works to improve energy efficiency and sustainability, paying special attention to the building envelope of collective residential buildings and single-family houses. The programme considers a number of actions eligible for support. With regard to actions concerning the thermal envelope of buildings, heating, air conditioning, hot water facilities and renewable energy devices, a reduction in yearly energy demand in heating and air conditioning in buildings, referred to energy certificates, must be achieved. This requirement ranges from 20 to 35% based on different climatic areas. MediumLink
Aid Programme for the Renewal of Municipal Street Lighting InstallationsThis program has a maximum budget of €113.8M and is intended to provide local authorities with financing local so they can carry out the reform of its external lighting installations under energy efficiency patterns. HighLink
Source: MURE


Road transport represents 77% of consumption in transport. It is followed by air traffic (including international transport), with a 18.5% share of. River and railway transport, combined, barely make up 4% of consumption. Private vehicles make up 54.5% of road consumption, whereas freight (vans and trucks) takes up 39%.

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


The traffic of passengers makes up 67% of consumption in transport. Passenger traffic, measured in passenger-kilometre, has barely grown by 0.3%/year between 2000 and 2017 due to the crisis effects, but since 2014, mobility has grown by 1.7%/year due to the growing economy. Public transport holds a stable 15% share compared to the 80% share held by cars. Financial recovery has led to an increase in rail passenger traffic by 3.1%/year, with no significant improvements in buses.

Figure 8: Share of transport modes in passenger traffic


Freight transport takes up approximately 33% of energy consumption in this sector. The decline in economic activity between 2008 and 2014 had a greater impact on freight transport (-4.1%/year), mainly on road (-4.7%/year), which takes up 83% of all traffic. Since 2014, freight transport has recovered (+4.6%/year) in all the modes, from 0.7%/year (railroads) to 4.8% (sea).

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Energy consumption in transport increased by 3.4 Mtoe between 2000 and 2017, due to the increase in activity (+4.2 Mtoe), which began to recover in 2014, the effect associated to behaviour and vehicle use (+5.8 Mtoe) and, to a lesser extent, the negative contribution of modal shift to less efficient means of transport (+0.2 Mtoe). These effects have been largely compensated by technological improvements (-6.9 Mtoe) in the different modes of transport.

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport


Actions in the transport sector fall into three categories: improvements in the vehicle fleet efficiency; promotion of modal shift; and an efficient use of the means of transport. In the first category, the Programs for purchasing vehicles (MOVES, MOVALT, etc.) stand out, and in the second category the Aid Programs for the modal shift and an efficient use of transport and for efficiency actions in the railway sector. Regarding the third category, the training system for getting the driving license for private and industrial vehicles includes driving techniques since 2014. Moreover, the use of clean vehicles is promoted through a registration tax based on CO2 emissions and the classification of vehicles based on their polluting potential.

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Efficient and Sustainable Mobility Incentives Programme (MOVES Programme)The MOVES Programme, endowed with a budget of € 45 M, is intended to promote actions to support mobility based on the criteria of energy efficiency, sustainability and the promotion of alternative energy sources, including the provision of charging facilities for electric vehicles. Purchases of alternative energy vehicles are eligible for subsidies provided that an M1 vehicle that is over 10 years old or an N1 vehicle that is over 7 years old is scrapped to purchase new M1 or N1 vehicles; likewise, the implementation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, electric bicycle rental systems and measures on workplace transportation plans are eligible for subsidies. HighLink
Aid program for energy efficiency actions in the railway sectorThis program has a maximum budget of €13M and is intended to finance actions that correspond to the following categories: improvements in energy efficiency through regenerative braking in trains; energy savings strategies in the operation of railway traffic; improvements in efficiency in currently extant railway buildings; improvements in efficiency in outdoor lighting and signalling; and improvements in energy efficiency in railroad facilities.MediumLink
Aid programs for the modal change and means of transportThis program strives to incentivise the implementation of sustainable transport plans to workplaces in order to achieve significant modal changes and, on the other hand, to advance in fleet management improvements. This program has an initial budget of €8 M, meant to fund actions in the following categories: sustainable transport to the workplace programs (PTT); management of road transport fleets; efficient driving courses for industrial vehicle drivers.MediumLink
Classification and labelling of passenger cars and vans based on their polluting potentialThrough Ruling 15/V-110 of April 7, 2015, the "zero emissions" tag that will be applied to electric battery vehicles (EBV), extended range electric vehicles (REEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) with a minimum range of 40km in electric mode, fuel cell (FCEV) or hydrogen (HICEV) vehicles, was presented. The Directorate-General of Traffic has approved the "zero", "ECO", "C" and "B" tags, which classify 50% of the fleet based on its polluting potential, through its Resolution of April 13, 2016.HighLink
Source: MURE


Industry makes up 24% of total energy demand. Industrial consumption has been decreasing since 2000 (-1.3%/year). This is largely due to the crisis during which demand contracted by 4.3%/year over the 2008-2014 period. Since 2014, with industrial recovery, demand has followed an upward trend (+0.5%/year). Around 77% of consumption is concentrated into five intensive branches - metallurgy, non-metallic minerals, chemistry, food production and pulp and paper.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch

Source: ODYSSEE, steel including blast furnaces

Among intensive branches, cement stands out, with a unit consumption increase of 1% per/year since 2000. Much of this increase took place during the crisis, especially between 2008 and 2012, at a rate of 8%/year, due to the impact on the efficiency of equipment and production processes. Likewise, the unit consumption of the steel industry also increased, albeit at a lesser rate, reaching currently the 2000 level. In the pulp and paper industry, the unit consumption has decreased (-2.3%/year) since 2000, possibly due to imports of pulp and paper recycling.

Figure 12: Unit consumption of energy‐intensive products (toe/t)


Throughout the 2000-2017 period, the energy consumption of industry fell by 5.5 Mtoe. The main cause is energy savings, due to technological developments (-7.1 Mtoe). Likewise, the effects associated to activity (-3.9 Mtoe) and structural changes (-1.4 Mtoe) have contributed to the consumption decrease, especially under the impact of the crisis between 2008 and 2014. All these effects have been partly counteracted by inefficiency in the functioning of industrial facilities, which has increased consumption by 6.9 Mtoe over the entire period.

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry


Within the framework of the Savings and Efficiency Action Plans, a number of measures intended to improve both energy management and the processes and facilities used in the industrial sector have been implemented. These measures include the Aids program for SME and Large Companies in the Industrial sector, the Industrial Competitiveness Promotion Programme, as well as the obligation for large industrial companies to undertake audits.

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Aids program for SME and Large Companies in the Industrial sectorThis program, which was endowed with a budget of €591 M, is intended to fund actions in the following categories: improvements in technology equipment and industrial processes, and the implementation of energy management systems.HighLink
Energy audits and management systemsPursuant to Royal Decree 56/2016, of 12 February, whereby article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive is transposed, large industrial companies (or groups of companies that comply with certain requirements) are bound to carry out energy audits. These audits must be held every 4 years and must cover at least 85% of final energy use of facilities located in Spain and that are part of the activities managed by the companies and groups in question. MediumLink
Industrial Competitiveness Promotion ProgrammeThis programme is intended to stimulate corporate investments in order to promote the evolution of beneficiary companies towards new, more advanced, efficient and eco-friendly production models and towards new higher added-value products and services. To this end, support has been provided to investment plans to improve currently-operating industrial facilities through changes and modifications that are liable to have a significant impact on their competitiveness. Medium Link
Source: MURE