A GREEN revolution has been introduced in a bid to cut back on the country’s crippling energy bill.
A raft of 20 energy-saving measures are hoped to save the country a total of 2.3bn euros in fuel bills.
The measures announced by the government mark the strongest response in Europe to the increase in oil prices caused by the current crisis in the Middle East.
The most high profile measure is the reduction in the motorway speed limit from 120 to 110 kilometres per hour that came into force this week.
But other measures include putting energy efficient light-bulbs into municipal buildings and reducing train fares by five per cent to encourage more people to use public transport.
The government is also to subsidise biodiesel and biomass heating under the new measures.
In total, the plan aims to save the equivalent of 28.7 million barrels of oil per year, with 75 per cent of that coming from cutting the speed limit.
The new green move has proved controversial with many Spanish drivers, including F1 driver Fernando Alonso who said “it will be hard to stay awake at 110.”
But despite the backlash the government is determined to reduce Spain’s reliance on oil as much as possible.
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said, “Sometimes it is necessary to take measures, even if they are unpopular.”
The new measures include:
- Temporary speed reduction on motorways to 110 km/hr
- Promotion of the practice of car pooling
- Promotion of the electric car in cities with the Sello Movele system
- Reduction in train ticket prices on local and medium distance routes
- Renewal plan for tyres – with more energy efficient tyres subsidised by 20 euros each
- Energy efficient public lighting systems to be installed
- Substitution of current traffic lights for LED bulbs
- Promotion of the use of biomass for heating in buildings
- Increasing the use of biodiesel fuels
- Public awareness campaign on the importance of saving energy