Recent developments: In early May 2021, the Spanish government released more detailled information about the investment projects included in the components of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan. Our assessment is based on the information about the RRP's components that was released in April 2021. The components have not changed substantially but some of the concerns regarding missing information that we previously outlined have now been resolved thanks to the newly released materials.
Overall, we find that the components included in the draft plan, with investments totaling €69.5bn, equaling 6.2% of Spain’s GDP (2020), will make a positive contribution to the green transition. However, despite the inclusion of many positive investment and reform priorities in the plan, the information provided on which exact measures will receive specific funding amounts is often insufficient for a fully comprehensive assessment. All in all, the RRP sets positive benchmarks through the connection of investments and reforms such as the introduction of more ambitious energy transition targets enabled through recovery funding, as well as with the support of specific flagship projects as part of the green transition, such as battery manufacturing.
We find that Spain’s draft recovery plan (RRP) achieves a green spending share of 31%, below the EU’s 37% benchmark. Furthermore, we find that 17% (€12.1bn) may have a positive or negative impact on the green transition depending on the implementation of the relevant measures, illustrating the importance of further scrutiny during the further planning, review and implementation of the recovery measures. According to the government, the plan’s climate spending share is 39% (see page 5 of the full country report for more details).
Our calculation of the green spending share aims to mirror the approach used for the official assessment of national recovery plans (find more information here).
*Our analysis covers the Recovery and Resilience Plan presented in April 2021. This analysis builds on and replaces a previously published analysis on the government’s high-level recovery priorities from October 2020. The analysiswas written by Felix Heilmann, Artur Patuleia and Alexander Reitzenstein (E3G). We are grateful to Lara Lázaro (Elcano Royal Institute), Peter Sweatman (Climate Strategy & Partners), Elisa Sainz de Murieta and Ana Morales (BC3), Lisa Fischer (E3G), Helena Mölter and Magdolna Prantner (Wuppertal Institute) as well as to Nuria Blázquez and Luis Flores for providing valuable inputs. The contents of this analysis are the sole responsibility of the authors.
The Spanish government is putting an explicit emphasis on supporting less developed regions in the country through its recovery measures in alignment with territorial policies, aiming to create more jobs and develop new economic activities in these regions. This emphasis is also closely linked to the national Just Transition Strategy.
While the plan’s general priorities are well-defined, the materials that have been published often only provide scarce information on what exact measures and projects will be supported. It has also been noted that the functioning of and accountability mechanisms for the plan’s governance are not very well defined yet.
The Spanish government moved its 2025 energy transition targets contained in its National Energy and Climate Plan forward to 2023 to boost the country’s economic recovery. This decision will require a substantial increase in the country’s capacity for renewable energy investments, the renewal of the housing stock as well as infrastructure for electric mobility.