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eco-union presented, in the context of the Spanish National Environment Congress 2022 (CONAMA), a report on how the European Next Generation funds contribute to the energy, climate and ecological transition in Spain. It continues the work of analysis and evaluation of the development of these funds, initiated in 2021, with the publication of the document Towards a green, resilient and inclusive recovery.

This report aims to analyse and understand the way in which the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan is being developed, paying special attention to the most relevant elements for the ecological and energy transition. To this end, information is compiled on the main events and novelties of the Plan, on the development and awarding of funds and projects and on the evolution of the international context. In addition, it reviews the status of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTEs) with the greatest relevance for the energy and ecological transition. These are the PERTEs of the electric vehicle, renewable energies and green hydrogen, Circular Economy, Digitalisation of the Water Cycle and the Agri-Food PERTE.

As the report points out, although Brussels approves the deployment of the Spanish plan and funds, there are some weaknesses in its implementation. Firstly, the specific recommendation on improving electricity interconnections with neighbouring countries is not adequately addressed. Given the government’s interest in positioning itself as one of the main distributors of green energy and hydrogen in Europe, the concreteness of this measure is highly relevant.

The paper also presents some of the criticisms made of the current implementation process. On the one hand, it highlights the difficult access to funds for small companies and organisations, while the awarding of funds seems to favour large companies. It also points to a certain opacity and a lack of participation of civil organisations in the elaboration, monitoring and participation in the development of the plan.

Regarding the implementation of projects and investments, it is important to highlight the notable lack of awarding of public contracts and PERTES investments. 10% of the public contracts under the Next Generation funds remain unallocated. Only a minimal part of the investments of the PERTEs calls for proposals have been resolved, leaving many of great strategic interest for the Spanish economy with unallocated investments such as the PERTE for the Circular Economy or the one for the Digitalisation of the Water Cycle.

Read or download the full report here.