Castilla y León is an autonomous community in north-western Spain with a population of almost 2,5 million people in 2015 (2.472.052). It is the largest autonomous community in Spain and the third largest region of the European Union, covering an area of 94,225 Km2. The combination of the wide extension and the population defines a density of 26,23 people per Km2, which is a very low density compared with the European standards and it is one of the specific features of the region. Furthermore, the majority of the population lives in urban areas (around 74% of the population and 52% in the 15 cities of the region). The orography of the region is mainly flat (around 80% of the surface) with a lot of forest surface which gives Castilla y León great resources for Renewable Energy Sources in solar, wind and biomass energy. Furthermore, the region has a big number of rivers, specially the Duero (one of the most important rivers within the Peninsula Ibérica) which can be also use for producing renewable energy, but with less potential than the other three sources. The region has a great potential for using RES, with a special focus on the forest resources whose exploitation is starting to increase but it is still low.
Energy and Spatial Planning in Castilla y León
In concerns with Spain, after the Toledo Declaration (EU’s Urban Development Ministers 2010) about Integrated Urban Regeneration in the European Union (IUU 2010) a new Law was promoted (Ley 8/2013, de 26 de junio, de rehabilitación, regeneración y renovación urbanas) directly related with urban sustainability in spatial planning and with the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings and urban areas. Complementary to the Spanish assumption of different energy EU directives, the regeneration of existing housing has been one of the most important targets for this Law. In Spain the Competences in Urban and Regional Planning are in the Regions –Comunidades Autonomas– but the Competences in Environment belong to both, National and Regional authorities. However EIE is, in general, Region Competence, but with national legislation of reference. The relationship between energy facilities and regional or local planning depends on the type of installation required. In the urban level facilities are integrated in local planning and there are different tools for ensuring suitable settlement. The problems begin when these facilities are not provided in existing plans. Big structures need specific planning –regional, sectorial, etc- and EIE process, depending on places and structures, ecological and landscape debates take place and NIMBY phenomena appear.