Source: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
New political leaders in Italy and Spain have brightened the outlook for renewables in two of Europe’s biggest energy markets.
In Italy, the fourth-largest economy in Europe, new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in his inaugural speech this month that “we will work to speed up the process, already in progress, of the ‘decarbonization’ of our production system.”
Conte was sworn in as a caretaker head of state after months of wrangling between the two coalition partners that emerged from Italy’s latest elections. The center-right federation called League (Lega in Italian) and the populist Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle or M5S) both claim a commitment to environmental causes that might affect energy policy. And last month Platts reported the coalition had agreed on measures including greater support for electric vehicles and renewables.
In Spain, citizens are still reeling from a change in government that took place within a week. There, Pedro Sánchez used a no-confidence vote to oust Mariano Rajoy as prime minister after senior figures in Rajoy’s right-wing People’s Party (Partido Popular or PP in Spanish) were convicted of corruption.
Pulling a cabinet together over the weekend after the vote, Sánchez put distance between his center-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español or PSOE) and the PP. His pick to lead energy policy was an acknowledged climate action advocate. On taking office, Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera was hailed as representing “a 180-degree turn in the fight against climate change in Spain.”
She is widely expected to seek a repeal of Spain’s notorious solar self-consumption “tax on the sun,” and in one of her first ministerial interviews said, “I don’t think coal has much of a future.”
More: New leaders of Italy and Spain smile on renewables