By Celine Lai
The ABC News reported on 2 September that three years ago Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party government signed an agreement with trade unions and energy companies to shut down the entire coal industry, in return for early retirement and investment in replacement industries.
Known as Transicion Justa, or “Just Transition”, this agreement has become the model for rapid transition from fossil fuel production. There is now only one mine still operating in Spain, and it’s due to close in December.
Unlike Australia, where lobby groups have pushed to expand coal production, Spanish corporations have embraced the change. Angeles Santamaria, CEO of the energy giant Iberdrola, says there is not a single coal project in the world she would invest in.
“We don’t see a place for coal, coal is the past for us,” Ms Santamaria says. “The future is exclusively on generating clean energy, around renewables, where there are many technologies.”
When Foreign Correspondent reporter, Eric Campbell, pointed out that Australia still makes billions of dollars from coal, she smiled.
“In Spanish, we have an expression: ‘Those days are numbered’. There isn’t much future there,” she says.
Australia insists coal will remain profitable for decades, even with major trading partners embracing net zero emissions targets.
But in Spain, that’s seen as magical thinking.
While government grants have had mixed success in creating new enterprises, the renewables industry is booming. In May, renewables provided over 50 per cent of Spain’s electricity and the government has set a target of 74 per cent green electricity by 2030.
Other countries, like Australia, can learn from Spain’s experience. Investors in Spain see huge potential for green hydrogen, where electrolysers powered by wind or solar split hydrogen fuel from water.
Wind power is a key part of Spain’s transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The country currently ranks second among European nations for wind energy production and has plans to double that in the next 10 years.
Iberdrola has just built a series of giant wind farms across northwest Spain and says it will spend up to a quarter of a trillion dollars on renewable energy by 2030. The company’s CEO Angeles Santamaria says clean energy is far more cost-effective than fossil fuels.
Read the full article here.
National Geographic reports that in Spain, Enel Green Power’s Totana solar plant is a model of sustainability, and was finished in record time. It was based on EGP’s Sustainable Construction Model that closely references the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Energy Goals. The plant was planned and built using innovative best practices and procedures that are setting new standards for Spain and beyond.
The following plans are the blue-prints which Australia can follow:
Repower Australia Plan by 350 Australia
In Western Australia, Clean State’s “Jobs Plan” for 200,000 jobs without fossil fuels, including a fair or just transition for fossil fuel workers,
You can help power Australia into the future without fossil gas and coal by joining 350 Boorloo Perth. Together, we can build a powerful climate movement that can stand up to the fossil fuel giants and their lobby groups. It is only through people-power that we can achieve our vision for a safe climate future for all!
Sign up at the page HERE to join the movement to transition Australia away from fossil fuels.
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