For many years, practically since 2004, it began to follow the electricity market and not only the oil market. I have always been struck by the changes in the planning of electricity sources, first more natural gas, then more wind, and then more solar. It did not generate much noise because as demand grew, existing sources did not have to be removed, only coal… well, something more complex but worth the simplification. The issue was always that in order to achieve the objectives of new sources, the source that was to be strengthened was subsidized or encouraged, either through regulated remuneration for investments in networks or through payment at a regulated price for the new renewable electricity that was later charged. as a deficit of the electrical system, so that consumers do not pay in cash the super price that investments in renewables received to encourage their construction.
But since the great financial crisis, the scenario has changed: electricity demand is not growing, but the planes do assume that it will continue to grow in order to increase the demand generated with more renewables. Since then I have not believed any plan, but now we also have to assume that a source disappears, nuclear, which accounts for 20% of current electricity generation, which is decarbonized energy. And, furthermore, the investment for the plan will be private money at risk (as if oil accumulates and there is no electricity).
Thus, the new National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) has just appeared, which, like a car (well with less exact calculations), has undergone a ‘restyling’ in 2023 compared to the old 2020 model. This new This version is even more daring, to use a somewhat positive adjective, and aiming to reach a goal of 81% generation with renewable energy by 2030, compared to the previous 76%, and a reduction in emissions of 32% compared to 1990, puts a stop to the goal of the 24% of the previous plane.
These objectives of the Plan are based on an environment of such uncertainty that it is better not to have touched them. They raise them after a year in which all the existing remuneration systems for electricity generators have changed, which not only do not have a stable regulatory framework, but also know that the current one is going to change and that they cannot calculate how much to invest. After a year in which instead of importing electricity from France we export it, and in a year or in which it has become clear that there may be problems of security of supply; that we cannot have access to the Chinese materials necessary for renewables or at what price we will have them. One more uncertainty, technologies were introduced that have not been developed or tested on a large scale, such as non-hydraulic storage (batteries), but can this then wait for a National Plan? It would not be better to consider it a voluntaristic writing of the type “I would like to… European champion”.
There is no cost-benefit analysis, nor less expensive or viable alternatives that justify the Plan. The Cost-Benefit Analysis is conspicuous by its absence, it is intended that in seven years 290,000 million will be invested, 53,000 million more than what was foreseen in the previous plan, with this an additional reduction of 27 MTCO2 would be achieved (that is, the cost of reducing emissions is from some doctors €196/tCO2). Of course, it does not point out how this cost could be reduced if the nuclear plants are not closed, nor why “amazing” growth in demand for electrical energy continues to occur for using the terminology of Artificial Intelligence when it does not surprise with some answer that seems nonsense to us. , and in this way ask that more money be spent to achieve nothing profitable
But it is that the Plan is not wasted, thus it indicates that the generation in central bus will grow at 6% and the final demand at 1%. For this, the renewable power has been reached by 30% compared to the previous plan, although the demand has been slightly revised downwards.
In order for this increase in renewable generation to be possible in the Plan, demands that are unlikely must be sought: first, export 40,000 GWh mainly to France in 2030, 5 times the current export! but what’s the point? If we do not know if they are going to need it; and second, so that you invest in something you don’t need. In addition to the French, it is necessary to double the consumption of electricity consumed in energy transformation, this means that by 2030 there will be large hydrogen generating plants, which is super optimistic to say the least.
But it is that even if we were to assume that we are Quixotes and that we invest with low rates of return in renewables to export to the French and Portuguese industries, we need to have the infrastructures, which are impossible to have in 7 years and which are also very expensive. let them visualize it; the current plan of the old Red Eléctrica (now Redeia) only goes up to 2026, and does not cover the needs of the PNIEC in various aspects. The first in international connections. While the Plan is calculated with an 8 GW interconnection, the projects that are on the table would only reach 5 GW, while currently only 2.8 GW are in operation.
Another of the aspects that the network has to solve are the so-called discharges, which is the electricity that has to be “thrown away” because there is not enough demand. With the current network, reaching 89 GW of renewables in 2026 would produce some 15% discharges, although the development of the network hopes to reduce that amount to 4%. However, if it is intended to reach 160 GW of renewables in 2030, the development of the grid has to go in parallel, at the risk of having to throw away most of the energy that is generated.
Some will think that in order not to have surplus energy, energy storage has increased in the PNIEC, but we find ourselves with two problems: the first one is about regulation, given that some projects can take years to obtain the pertinent permits (for example, example, pumping facilities); the second problem would be technological, given the lack of maturity of other technologies such as large batteries.
Another of the shadows that appears in the plan is the fleet of electric vehicles, which the PNIEC quantifies at 5.5 million in 2030, although of course that figure does not include only passenger cars, but also motorcycles, buses, etc. To get an idea of the magnitude, 2022 closed with a fleet of vehicles with the ‘zero’ label of 0.25 million. It is clear because they talk about very important deductions in personal income tax, but come on, it doesn’t even seem possible.
Lastly, he pointed out that, in an environment of rising financing costs, assuming that massive investment is going to be made in currently unprofitable options is, to say the least, imaginative. But anyway, you understand me, a Plan is a Plan and “to a good understanding…”