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Spain: Energy
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Energy


Spain is poor in energy resources, with the exception of coal. Rapid industrial growth has intensified the problems caused by insufficient oil reserves, dwindling supplies of easily accessible high-quality coal, and inadequate water for power generation. Until the early 1980s, Spain increasingly depended upon imported petroleum, and overall energy consumption continued to grow in the 1973-79 period. Following adjustment to a slower rate of economic growth and to the changed energy market of the 1970s, Spanish energy consumption declined in the early 1980s.

The National Energy Plan (Plan Energetico Nacional -- PEN), the basic statement of official energy policy, was first formulated in 1978. Revised in 1983 to cover the 1984-93 period, the new PEN aimed at a rationalization of energy consumption and a reduction in Spain's dependence on imported energy. It pressed, in addition, for a reorganization of the oil industry and for a financial reorganization of the electricity industry. In contrast to the 1978-87 plan, it reduced the role of nuclear energy.

Data as of December 1988

Last Updated: December 1988

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Spain was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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