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It is the regulatory instrument that establishes the development needs of the electricity transmission network for the period 2021-2026. Specifically, through this development plan, existing infrastructures will be reinforced and new facilities will be promoted that will allow Spain to move forward on the path of ecological transition with guaranteed supply, placing the protection of the environment and the economic efficiency of the electricity system at the forefront.

Its development began in March 2019 with Order TEC/212/2019 and has been carried out in accordance with nine guiding principles, which are:

  • Fulfilment of the energy and climate commitments that will be specified at the national level in the NECP 2021-2030.
  • Maximising the penetration of renewable energy in the electricity system, minimising the risk of curtailment, in a way that is compatible with the security of the electricity system. -The location of renewable energy sources in areas with high availability of renewable resources and where it is environmentally possible to exploit and transmit the energy generated.
  • Contributing, with regard to the electricity transmission grid, to guaranteeing the security of supply of the electricity system.
  • Making the development of the electricity transmission grid compatible with environmental constraints.
  • The elimination of existing technical restrictions in the electricity transmission grid.
  • Compliance with the principles of economic efficiency and the principle of economic and financial sustainability of the electricity system.
  • Maximisation of the utilisation of the existing grid by renovating, extending capacity, using new technologies and reusing existing facilities.
  • Minimisation of losses in the transmission of electrical energy to consumption points.

Thanks to the Network Development Plan 21-26, we will contribute to mitigating the impact of climate change in our country and boost economic and social recovery after COVID-19. Particularly, the development of the transmission grid will allow us to advance in the process of ecological transition, guaranteeing the massive integration of renewable energy sources (37,000 MW). By 2026, this will lead to a 66% reduction in CO2 eq emissions with respect to figures recorded in 2019. On the other hand, the planned investment volume –reaching 6,694 million euros– will be a catalyst for economic activity in the country and for our industrial fabric, as it will activate the sectors associated with the installation of electricity infrastructures. In this way, the Plan will enable the creation of employment, wealth and well-being for the territories. Likewise, the investments envisaged will generate efficiencies and highly profitable savings for the Spanish electricity system as a whole.

The full Network Development Plan 21-26 document is available on the following link:

The current legislation (Law 24/2013 of the Electricity Sector) indicates that a Transmission Network Development Plan for Electricity must be prepared every 4 years, covering a period of 6 years.

The Network Development Plan document includes investments that involve both the development of new infrastructure and the reinforcement of existing facilities, as well as other investments necessary for the system’s safe operation. Likewise, it includes projects that must be developed within the established planning period, which are binding in nature, and others that are identified as necessary for a horizon subsequent to that of the aforementioned Plan. The latter are included so that the associated administrative procedures, which may require an extended period of time, can be initiated.

The following are all the parties involved in the process of drawing up the Planning:

  • The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITERD), as coordinator and responsible for drawing up the Network Development Plan. Similarly, its Environment area has carried out the Strategic Environmental Assessment.
  • The autonomous communities and cities, as the main participants in the planning process together with MITERD.
  • Red Eléctrica de España, as the System Operator, as technical support for MITERD and the party responsible for drawing up the proposals for the Network Development Plan.
  • The CNMC, as National Regulatory Authority, with the preparation of economic-financial sustainability criteria and the supervision of compliance with these in the proposal.
  • The entities in the sector, submitting development proposals and providing information required depending on their area of competence.
  • Any entity or individual during the consultation period.
  • The Spanish Parliament, to which the Network Development Plan was submitted prior to its approval.
  • The Spanish Government, in the final approval of the Network Development Plan document.

The design of Network Development Plan 21-26 was a participatory and transparent process that involved the participation of the subjects of the electricity sector and, in addition, allowed the participation of any entity or individual. The regulatory aspects governing the process are set out in the Electricity Sector Act 24/2013, RD 1955/2000, RD 1047/2013, the Environmental Assessment Act 21/2013 and RDL 1/2019. It consisted of the following phases:

  • Proposal phases. After publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), the autonomous communities and the sector stakeholders involved drew up proposals for the development of the transmission grid and submitted them to the MITECO and REE. At the same time, the CNMC issued a report with recommendations on economic and financial sustainability to be considered in the development of the grid.
  • Study phase. REE, with the information obtained and the criteria established by MITERD, carried out the relevant technical studies and drew up the Initial Network Development Proposal, which was then submitted to MITERD.
  • Claims phase. The MITERD sent the Initial Network Development Proposal to the Autonomous Communities to gather all their considerations. 
  • Study phase. The MITERD forwarded all the considerations to REE, who analysed them and drew up the Network Development Proposal, sending it back to the MITERD.
  • Consolidation phase. Having received and reviewed the assessment of compliance with the economic and financial sustainability criteria from the CNMC, the MITERD drew up the Transmission Network Development Plan for Electricity, which was to include the Strategic Environmental Statement issued by the environmental area of the MITERD. During the SEA public information period, any entity or person was given the opportunity to present claims.
  • Approval phase. Finally, the Transmission Network Development Plan for Electricity was approved by the Government, after being submitted to Parliament.

The planning process was carried out following a rigorous Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure in order to make it sustainable and respectful of the environment.

In this way, environmental and territorial conditioning factors have been prioritised in its design, making better use of the existing grid, avoiding the most sensitive areas and reducing investments with an environmental effect on the territory. In fact, only 13% of all the Renewable Energy Sources planned to be connected by 2026 in areas where this is not currently possible will require new transmission substations.

The authorisation of projects will be the responsibility of the General State Administration or the Autonomous Communities, depending on the type of transmission grid affected (primary or secondary). The General State Administration will be responsible for authorising those infrastructures of the primary transmission grid and the secondary transmission grid that affect more than one Autonomous Community. For its part, the affected Autonomous Community will authorise the infrastructures of the secondary transmission grid that run only through its territory.

The primary transmission grid is made up of lines, parks, transformers and other electrical elements with nominal voltages equal to or greater than 380 kV, as well as international interconnections and those of non-mainland electricity systems.

The secondary transmission grid consists of lines, parks, transformers and other elements of the transmission grid not included in the primary transmission grid.

Red Eléctrica de España, as the sole transmission agent of the Spanish electricity system, will carry out the projects for the construction of new infrastructures or the adaptation of existing ones once they have been authorised.

Read the Network Development Plan 2021 – 2026