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Illustrating the conflicts in the Spanish sustainable energy roadmap towards 2050

J.C. Romero, P. Linares

Although the energy transition is generally linked mainly to the decarbonization of the energy sector, other elements, such as other atmospheric pollutants, costs, job creation, energy poverty, or energy security, must also be considered to achieve a truly sustainable energy roadmap. And, sometimes, these may be conflicting goals. In this paper we present a multiple-criteria energy model that illustrates the conflict between decarbonization and other energy transition objectives for the Spanish energy roadmap towards 2030 and 2050. Our results show that there is a signiffcant level of conflict criteria. Given this conflict, the final configuration of the Spanish roadmap will depend on the weight given by society to these criteria. In this regard, the paper also computes the different weights given by different stakeholder groups, namely, utilities, academia, policymakers and environmentalists, and tries to identify consensus solutions as a key to solving the conflicts identified and proceeding towards a broadly accepted sustainable energy roadmap for Spain. Interestingly, when consensus is focused on efficiency, a balanced solution is produced, although decarbonization is not prioritized compared to jobs or energy poverty. But when the consensus looks for equality among stakeholders, the bias towards job creation is larger, what worsens significantly the rest of criteria. None of the consensus solutions however are able to achieve a total decarbonization of the energy sector, as desired by the European Commission for 2050.

Keywords: Energy Sustainability, Energy Transition, Multicriteria Analysis, Optimization Modelling, Energy Poverty

Registration date: 2020-04-16


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