Extremadura is an autonomous community of Spain located in the South-West part of the country, and formed by the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. The region has a size of 41,635 km2 (similar to the Netherlands) and has a population of 1.065 million people (in 2019, 16 times less than the Netherlands), which represents a population density of 25.56 inhabitants/km2, making it an eminently rural region, with many population areas scattered throughout the territory.
We are a renewable energy-producing region, mainly through solar photovoltaic, solar thermoelectric and hydraulic; contributing through renewable generation 30% of the total regional generation of electricity. The remaining 70% is provided by a nuclear power plant, which capacity will be gradually replaced by renewable energies by 2030, when it is expected that all electricity production in Extremadura will be 100% renewable. In 2020, renewable energy generation accounted for 121.49% of the regional demand, which places us as a national reference in the transition process towards the goal of climate neutrality, which is hoped to be achieved in 2030, 20 years earlier than expected at European level.
In terms of R&D, our region has the capacity to develop innovative solutions in areas such as: the use of biomass, intelligent systems for energy management, recycling of photovoltaic panels, green hydrogen and energy storage, among others. These capabilities will be enhanced with the construction of the National Energy Storage Research Center (CNIAE), which will be dedicated to the development of new technologies for a better manageability of renewables, and its construction will begin in the short term. Although, as a region we have the necessary energy resources so not to depend on other territories, we still depend on external technology; so the development of certain proprietary solutions would make us more energetically independent and would open great opportunities to improve regional competitiveness.
Learn more about Extremadura Pilot Solution!
In environmental matters, we are a community rich in natural resources, with 34% of the territory under some type of environmental protection; with the largest surface area of fresh water in the country; with a large number of hours of sunshine per year (3,106); a great potential for the production of biomass and, through prospecting carried out in recent years, with certain reserves of strategic materials for the energy transition, such as lithium.
Regional energy planning for 2030 will entail a total transformation of our system and unprecedented economic activity will be generated in this field. But this revolution is being accompanied by a series of social movements that are increasingly demanding that the transition should be carried out with both the environment and society in mind.
Role in RIPEET
The RIPEET project, through the implementation of the regional Energy Transition Lab, will gather evidence on what the priorities are as a region, what kind of innovative solutions should be developed to cover those priorities, and what kind of policies should accompany the development of those solutions and their integration into the market, all in line with the main social challenges and concerns, such as:
Energy poverty (12.2% of the population of Extremadura is in this situation);
Variability of energy prices;
Development of professional skills for the new energy future;
Barriers to access to new technologies for the energy transition;
Occupation of agricultural land and destruction of biodiversity.
All this goes hand in hand with the Extremadura society as a whole, in order to make our energy transition as fair and sustainable as possible. We are all excited to be developing an approach to energy transition that is accessible, inclusive and strongly rooted in the needs of our region and we look forward to sharing our experiences with the RIPEET mirror regions.
Extremadura Transition Lab
The Energy Transition Labs (ETL) aim to set up spaces for learning, interaction and interconnection between key actors (government, civil society, industry, academia) to collaboratively produce knowledge about the current problems of the energy sector, the preferred future scenarios, and possible strategies to achieve a sustainable vision.
The ETL of Extremadura is created as a system to identify evidence on what kind of energy future we want in the region, which includes actors from Society, as a focus to be addressed through the identification of concerns and needs to be addressed in the energy transition process; Academia and Industry, as producers of innovations that can respond to these social challenges; Government, as responsible for designing and implementing policies that promote the development and market introduction of these solutions; and Environmental experts, who monitor the process to ensure that it complies with environmental protection criteria. The LTE processes address the key dimensions and issues set out in the RRI framework.
Extremadura Joint Vision
In the ETL of Extremadura we have managed, through the application of methodology and tools offered by the RIPEET project, to define the Joint Vision that will allow us to continue advancing towards the development of solutions that favour a fairer and more sustainable energy transition in our Region.
You can download our Joint Vision by clicking on the image!
Learn how Extremadura is boosting energy transition with the video from the RIPEET peer-learning visit!
RIPEET peer-learning visit to Badajoz, in the Outer Hebrides gathered stakeholders from the mirror ecosystems in Malaga and Lithuania in a 3-days programme focusing on sharing regional practices, challenges and innovative solutions on energy transition. Watch the video to learn more about the mirror regions' representatives experience and the main takeaways from the visit!
Learn more about the Extremadura's role and objectives within RIPEET here.