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NPF highlights

Download the full NPF documents:

English translation: spain npf.en.pdf

Original language: spain npf.pdf


On this page, we provide relevant information on the topic of alternative fuels vehicles, infrastructure or support measures as provided in the National Policy Framework (NPF), in principle as an extract from the NPF, with some additions to give context where necessary. These highlights should not be considered summaries of the NPFs. For a full and  complete overview, we  advise to read the NPF document itself

The highlights for all National Policy Framework follow more or less the same structure: we first explain the modelling approach where one has been provided, we then explain the objectives or key focus areas of the NPF and then provide an overview of the key messages for those alternative fuels with distinct infrastructure requirements for which Member States had to develop national targets according to the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (electricity, hydrogen, LPG, CNG and LNG - therefore not covering for instance LPG, biofuels or synthetic fuels. 


NPF date of adoption: October 2016

On 26 June 2015 the Spanish Cabinet passed a Decision formally acknowledging the New Energy Vehicle Promotion Strategy (the ‘NEV Strategy’) for the 2014-2020 period. The NEV Strategy forms part of the Agenda for Encouraging Progress in the Spanish Industrial Sector, an action plan containing a set of proposals to improve conditions across all areas of industrial activity in Spain and contribute to the growth of industry, improve competitiveness and increase its share of GDP. The NEV Strategy extends the 2010-2014 New Energy Vehicle Comprehensive Promotion Strategy (launched by the government on 6 April 2010) to all alternative fuels. The Strategy aims to set Spain up as a leading country in the application of alternative fuels to the road transport industry, providing a boost to the industrial sectors associated with the automotive sector, against the backdrop of the energy-related and environmental challenges we are facing today.


The energy to be supplied to electric vehicles in 2030 (a hypothetical 2 600 000 vehicles) is not expected to exceed 2.4 % of the total national demand for electricity. This figure is below the threshold of error in long-term demand forecasts. This system is being tested in Spain, with a power point for docked vessels installed at the passenger terminal of the Port of Melilla. Moreover, feasibility studies are being conducted at the ports of Barcelona, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma. The National Ports Authority has estimated that more than 100 000 tonnes of conventional fuel— fuel oil, marine gas oil, etc. — used while ships are berthed in Spain could theoretically be replaced by around 600 GWh of electricity. Merchant ships are supplied with electricity at 400V, 6.6kV and 11kV. The latter two voltages are international standards and are also applicable at EU level: under Article 4(6) of Directive 2014/94/EU shore- side electricity supply installations must comply with the IEC/ISO/IEEE 80005-1 standard as of 18 November 2017. There are 410 fixed and all-in-one electric power supply units for aircraft in total at Spain’s TEN-T network airports. Except for Seville, practically all Spanish airports that make up the core TEN-T network have 400 Hz fixed power supply infrastructure at aircraft parking bays. As for the airports making up the comprehensive TEN-T network, the following have power supply units for aircraft: A Coruña, Asturias, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, La Palma, Lanzarote, Menorca, Santiago, Seve Ballesteros Santander, Tenerife Norte and Vigo. Therefore, 90 % of Spanish airports forming part of the core TEN-T network, and 38 % of the airports belonging to the comprehensive TEN-T network, have units to supply electricity to aircraft.


Hydrogen mobility in Spain will begin with the six existing hydrogen stations and four additional stations planned for construction as part of project H2PiyR (POCTEFA-INTERREG initiative). The ten hydrogen stations already planned will allow pilot projects to be carried out in real-life environments, as well as allowing us to assess the feasibility on connections with the other EU countries via France. The aim will be to serve specific market niches (public buses, taxis, company fleets, etc.), giving us a model on the basis of which to define future initiatives under a strategy to establish hydrogen infrastructure nationwide.

Based on the foregoing, preliminary estimates currently suggest that we can expect to have approximately 500 FCEVs on Spanish roads and 20 hydrogen stations by 2020.

CNG:Fleets make up 90 % of all CNG vehicles. Public-service fleets are notable for the use of heavy-duty CNG vehicles, mainly buses and refuse collection lorries, which, according to GASNAM’s estimates, account for 66 % of all CNG vehicles on Spain’s roads. In both CNG and LNG form, natural gas provides less range per unit of volume than conventional fuels. CNG is the ideal option for short journeys and for means of transport with a shorter required range. The European Natural & Bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe, 2015) estimates that there will be eight million vehicles powered by natural gas on Europe’s roads by 2020. If the Spanish market develops in line with this forecast, Spain will have approximately 18 000 natural gas vehicles (800 LNG and 17 200 CNG). 

LNG: LNG is the option most commonly used for long distances, as it occupies between 2.5 and 3 times less space than CNG. LNG is currently used only in lorries transporting goods over long distances and with large loads (over 26 tonnes).

LNG demand in Spanish ports by vessels, either for propulsion or auxiliary engines, is limited to occasional supplies that have been taking place since July 2012. All these bunkering operations have taken place using tanker lorries (truck-to-ship or TTS supply). Five of the world’s 77 LNG-powered vessels have berthed in Spanish ports a total of 13 times, requesting LNG bunkering on only seven occasions, with the service being provided successfully on all those occasions. The CORE LNGas Hive — Core Network Corridors and Liquefied Natural Gas Project, which is funded by the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility (2014-EU-TM-0732-S), is the most important strategic measure from an institutional point of view aimed at promoting the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure at ports and facilitating market development.

The reality today is that the number of LNG-powered vessels operating worldwide is increasing at an annual rate of between 15 and 25 %, according to the graph shown above. If this trend continues unchanged, we can expect the global figure to rise to between 300 and 700 ships by 2025 and 615-2 150 ships by 2035.