In 2015, the final energy consumption in Spain, excluding non-energy uses, amounted to 80 Mtoe, an slight increase of 0.09%/year compared to 2000. Transport , with a 42% share of consumption, keeps its leading role. It is followed by industry, with 23%, although this sector has maintained its downward trend in the demand structure along with its declining contribution to GDP in accordance with the expansion of the tertiary sector, a trend that has deepened during the financial crisis. The building sector accounted for 32% of consumption, 19% for residential and 13% for services. 

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


Energy efficiency, as expressed through the ODEX index, displays continuous progress throughout the 2000-2015 period at an average annual rate of 1.5% (cumulatively 22.5%). The contributions of transport and industry stand out owing to their greater share of demand, and they displayed average annual rates of improvement of 0.9 and 1.7%. From 2008 onwards, due to the effects of the financial crisis, improvements in industry slowed down and the service sector displayed no progress at all. The residential and transport sectors have carried on apace and at a faster rate, 3.8 and 1.3%, possibly due to technological improvements stimulated by regulations concerning buildings, facilities and vehicles.

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index (ODEX)


The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, 2017-2020 (NEEAP3) establishes, in line with article 3 of Directive 2012/27/EU, an indicative target of 87.236 Mtoe by 2020 for Spain which implies energy savings of 11.223 Mtoe. On the other hand, in line with article 7 of the aforementioned Directive, a binding target for final energy savings of 15.979 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. The latter, together with the National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE), was established by Law 18/2014 of 15th October on the approval of urgent measures for growth, competitiveness and efficiency. Bound parties must make an annual financial contribution to the FNEE in order to satisfy their obligations. Alternatively, the Law states that a mechanism based on energy savings certificates may be implemented. The required regulatory development has not yet been carried out, and therefore obligations will be fulfilled through a yearly contribution to the Fund based on a financial equivalent.

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE), yesThe National Energy Efficiency Fund (FNEE), assigned to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda (MINETAD) through the Ministry of State for Energy, is charged with financing mechanisms to provide monetary, financial, technical, training, information and other forms of support in order to increase energy efficiency in various energy-consuming sectors so that they may contribute to achieve the national energy savings target established by the national energy efficiency obligations system established by article 7 of Directive 2012/27/EU.HighLink
2014-2020 Operational Program for Sustainable Growth (POCS) yesThe main goal of the 2014-2020 Operational Program for Sustainable Growth (POCS) is to increase the financial, social and territorial cohesion of Spain and its regions in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy. The program is built around four thematic axes. The IDAE was appointed as Intermediary Organism for the management of the assistance programs considered under the Low-carbon economy axis. 70% of the budget that has been approved therein will be used to finance energy efficiency actions. It is estimated that the application of these funds in efficiency actions will yield cumulative savings of 4,961 ktoe, contributing to the fulfilment of the targets undertaken by Spain in conformity with article 7 of Directive 2012/27/EU.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.Link
Source: MURE


In 2015, 73% of the energy demand of buildings was concentrated in heating (39.6%) and electrical equipment (30.3%). Domestic Hot Water (DHW), air conditioning and cooking amounted to 12.1%, 5.2% and 9.2% of consumption, respectively. Throughout the 2000-2008 period, the energy demand of buildings grew at a rate of 3.6%/year, chiefly due to electrical equipment (+5.6%/year) and space heating (+2.6%/year). The demand declined at a rate of 0.1%/year since the start of the crisis, in 2008. With the exception of electrical equipment, whose demand grew, albeit at a slower rate (+2%/year), consumption for other uses decreased at a rate of 0.1%/year (heating) and 3.3%/year (DHW).

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


Figure 4: Energy consumption by end-use per dwelling


Over the period 2000-2015, energy consumption in the residential sector increased by 3 Mtoe, mainly as a result of the increase in owner-occupied dwellings, especially during the period prior to the financial crisis . Another factor was the increase in comfort, which arose from the increase fittings in homes as well as the move towards larger dwellings. These contributions were partially offset by energy savings (5 Mtep) in homes, which account for a reduction of 5 Mtoe in energy consumption.

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


Throughout the 2003-2010 period, electricity unit consumption increased by 2.4%/year, above energy unit consumption (+1.5%/year), which corresponds to the needs for lighting, air conditioning, office equipment and ICT technologies. A downward trend has been observed since 2012 which is probably related to the combined effect of the increase in electricity prices and the financial crisis.

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


Those actions that have been implemented in the building sector are in accordance with European directives, and in particular with Directive 2012/27/EU and Directive 2010/31/EU. In what concerns the latter directive, over the past few years, legislative progress has been made towards its transposition through a number of regulatory provisions that increase the requirements of the Technical Building Code (Order FOM/1635/2013), the Regulation on Building Heating Installations (Royal Decree 238/2013) and energy certification for buildings (Royal Decree 235/2013). Concerning Directive 2012/27/EU, 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 for the PAREER-CRECE Program stand out in particular. In what concerns public lighting, the Regulation on efficiency in public lighting facilities (Royal Decree 1890/2008), as well as recent 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
Aid program for the Energy Rehabilitation in Buildings in the Household and Hotels sectors (PAREER-CRECE)This program, which is endowed with a total budget of €200 M, is intended to promote improvements in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources in currently extant buildings used for residential and hospitality purposes.MediumLink
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.MediumLink
State Plan for the Rental Housing, Housing Rehabilitation and Urban Regeneration and Renovation, 2013-2016Among other purposes, this plan is intended to promote the energy renovation of housing buildings. It includes a number of programs among which the program for the promotion of building renovation, which is intended to improve energy efficiency, stands out. One necessary requirement for these aids is that the actions carried out lead to a reduction in the yearly energy demand for heating and cooling in the building, concerning the energy certificate, of at least 30% compared to the situation prior to the aforementioned actions.MediumLink
Source: MURE


Road transport represents 80% of consumption in transport. It is followed by air transport, with a 16.9% share of consumption. River and railway transport barely make up 3% of consumption in aggregate. Private vehicles make up 51.8% of road consumption, whereas freight takes up 42.3%.

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


The transport of passengers makes up 64% of transport consumption. Passenger traffic has barely grown by 0.3%/year since 2000 due to the crisis effects in contrast with the period before crisis (+1.8%/year). Public transport maintains a stable 19% share, with an increase in rail traffic (+0.2%/year) compared to buses (-0.5%/year). 

Figure 8: Share of transport in passenger traffic


Freight transport takes up approximately 40% of energy consumption in this sector. The decline in financial activity since 2008 has had a greater impact on freight transport, which has decreased at a rate of 3.9%/year, mainly on roads (-2.9%/year), whereas maritime or fluvial transportation have practically remained stable over the 2008-2015 period.

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Energy consumption in transport increased slightly (+0.6 Mtoe) over the 2000-2015 period. Technological improvements, along with a small contribution from the modal shift led to a decrease in consumption (-4.9 Mtoe), which was largely counteracted by the effects associated to behaviour and vehicle use (+5.1 Mtoe) due to the decrease in the load capacity caused by the crisis and the rebound in demand (+0.1 Mtoe) associated to an increase in activity associated to economic recovery since 2014.

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 the modal shift; and an efficient use of the means of transport. In the first category, the Programs for purchasing vehicles (PIVE, MOVELE, PIMA Aire and MOVEA) 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
PIVE PlansThese plans are intended to promote the scrapping of passenger cars (M1) and commercial vehicles (N1) with a minimum age of 10 and 7 years, respectively. For this purpose, the acquisition of new M1 and N1 vehicles is incentivised, belonging to the A and B energy classes in what concerns M1 vehicles, and with less than 160 gr CO2 /km in the case of N1 vehicles. Moreover, the acquisition of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and extended range electric vehicles is also incentivised, as are LGP or natural gas-motorised vehicles with less than 160 gr CO2 /km.HighLink
Plan for the Promotion of Alternative Energy Vehicles (MOVEA)The MOVEA plan is a measure that belongs to the Strategy for the Promotion of Alternative Energy Vehicles (VEA). This Plan, which was initially endowed with a budget of € 16.6 M, is intended to incentivise the acquisition of alternative energy vehicles as well as the implementation of charging points for electric vehicles in public access areas.HighLink
Aid program for energy efficiency actions in the railway sectorThis program has a maximum initial 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.MediumLink
Source: MURE


Industry makes up 24% of total energy demand. Industrial consumption has been decreasing since 2000 at a rate of 1.9%/year. This reduction was particularly severe during the 2008-2015 period (-4.4%/year). 75% of consumption is concentrated into five intensive branches - metallurgy, non-metallic minerals, chemistry, food production and paper and paste.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch


Among intensive branches, cement, steel and paper stand out in particular, as their unit consumption has increased significantly in the crisis context, especially cement (+4.5%/year since 2008). This evolution was caused by the fall in productive capacity, which has hindered the efficiency of the equipment used, and it implies a rupture with the previous trend associated to improvements in efficiency.

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


Throughout the 2000-2015 period, the energy consumption in industry fell by 6.7 Mtoe. Three main factors contributed to this: activity, which was especially affected by the recession since 2008; structural changes; and energy savings associated to technological improvements. As a whole, these factors reduced consumption by 12.3 Mtoe over the course of this period, counteracting the effect associated to inefficiency in the functioning of facilities, which was caused by the crisis and which led to an increase in consumption of 2.3 Mtoe.

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 JESSICA-FIDAE Investment Fund and the Aids program for SME and Large Companies in the Industrial sector, which are intended to promote actions for the improvement and management of energy efficiency in industry.

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 initially endowed with a budget of €49 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
Source: MURE