Country Listing

Spain Table of Contents




Vandellos nuclear power plant in Tarragona Province
Courtesy Embassy of Spain, Washington

Spain is poor in energy resources, with the exception of coal. Rapid industrial growth has intensified the problems caused by insufficient oil reserves, dwindling supplies of easily accessible high-quality coal, and inadequate water for power generation. Until the early 1980s, Spain increasingly depended upon imported petroleum, and overall energy consumption continued to grow in the 1973-79 period. Following adjustment to a slower rate of economic growth and to the changed energy market of the 1970s, Spanish energy consumption declined in the early 1980s.

The National Energy Plan (Plan Energetico Nacional--PEN), the basic statement of official energy policy, was first formulated in 1978. Revised in 1983 to cover the 1984-93 period, the new PEN aimed at a rationalization of energy consumption and a reduction in Spain's dependence on imported energy. It pressed, in addition, for a reorganization of the oil industry and for a financial reorganization of the electricity industry. In contrast to the 1978-87 plan, it reduced the role of nuclear energy.

Data as of December 1988