In this study, we focus on the case of Spanish energy policy and its implications for sustainable energy development. In recent years, Spanish legislation has changed dramatically in its approach to sustainable energy sources. This change is despite EU and international efforts to increase energy efficiency, and to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources (RES) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Based on the socio-technical transitions literature, this paper assesses the role of the new legislation in this altered scenario, and analyzes the evolution of energy production in Spain in the EU context. The results are triangulated with two expert assessments. We find that Spanish energy policy is responding to the energy lobby’s demands for protection for both their investment and their dominant position. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of investors combined with a lack of trust in both local and foreign investors in the sustainable energy sector, affecting also social innovations in energy transitions. We conclude that Spain is a particular case of concomitance between the energy sector and political power which raises concern about the viability of a higher level of energy sovereignty and the achievement of international commitments regarding climate change.
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