In 2011, between March 7 and July 1 of that same year, the spanish roads reduced their top speed from 120 to 110 km / h. A controversial measure that was implemented with the aim of saving fuel and that did not reach four full months of validity. Now, a new crisis is putting this measure back on the table.
So it was the Libyan crisis that forced the government to take action. So he Brent barrel stood at $111 per unit. Today it is trading at 116 dollars, although this week we have seen it reach 122 dollars/barrel. The trend had been similar. In 2011 it had gone from 80 dollars/barrel to 111 dollars in one year. Today that difference is wider, since a year ago it was trading at around 70 dollars/barrel.
Between the measures takenit was decided that the maximum limit on motorways be lowered to 110 km/h, with the aim of reducing fuel consumption and dealing with a highly pressured market that required the European Union release 60 million barrels of its reserves, given the refusal of the OPEC countries to increase their production.
The situation at the moment is more worrying than in 2011. The goal is to drown Russia economically due to the invasion of Ukraine, a country that sells 4.5 million a day to the continent. In addition, the European Union has already released the same 60 million barrels which in 2011 served to reverse the situation. And the data says that the inflation increased by 8.7% in Spain last May.
Do we lower prices?
To deal with the escalation of prices, which are at record highs never seen in our country, the Government has designed a purchase subsidy of 20 cents/litre. This, however, has not stopped the rise prices and consumers not only pay the same as before April 1, they now pay more money than then. A fact that has motivated the Government’s doubts about an extension that, finally, has been confirmed.
The decision to subsidize the final price of the purchase of fuels is motivated by the resistance to reduce their taxes, considering that this would be an anti-ecological measure. In fact, in Germany this decision has been viewed with disfavor by the Greens, after the Government confirmed a reduction in taxes 0.30 euros/litre for gasoline and 0.14 euros/litre for diesel.
Keep in mind that Spain is one of the European countries that pay less taxes in fuels. In fact, with each new price increase, its weight on the final amount decreases, although the State’s collection increases compared to previous prices. Right now, we pay a 5% less tax to gasoline than Germany and 1% less in the case of diesel. This figure increases to 11 and 12%, respectively, if we compare ourselves with France.
At 110 km/h… will it work?
Having seen what has been seen, it does not seem that the Government intends to make new reductions in the price of fuel. The basic problem is not so much its price, the problem now is that the dependence that Europe has of Russian oil is very high. And the only effective way for the future to reduce that dependency and not transfer it to new countries is simple: consume less.
Less consumption should result in lower prices and that was the main reason for promoting the new limit of 100 km / h. However, it does not seem clear that the measure had an effect. Savings of €1.4 billion a year were then budgeted when the measures were presented. When the limits returned to 120 km/h, the savings, according to the Government, had been €450 millionso it was slightly lower than expected.
Also then encrypted a fuel savings 11.4% for gasoline, while diesel consumption was reduced by 7.7%. These figures are lower than expected, since when the shock plan was presented, savings of 15% and 11%, respectively, were anticipated.
Now the International Energy Agency (AIE), an organization headed by Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, assures in a recent report that the reduction in speed will save up to 430,000 barrels per day oil consumption. That is to say, 9.5% of the total barrels that we buy every day from Russia.
For its part, the DGT ensures that, taking 120 km/h as a reference, the average saving of a gasoline vehicle is 8.8%, while in a diesel car it reaches 6.6%. In other words, at the price of gasoline at the moment, the savings for every 50 liters could approach nine euros in the case of a gasoline car and six euros if we talk about a diesel.
What the situation we are experiencing demands goes beyond slowing down. The IEA report points out that we citizens must make profound changes in our way of living if we want to reduce dependence on oil in the short term.
Here, our way of moving is essential. According to the agency, the use of public transport, cycling or walking, instead of taking the car, would save some 330,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Germany is subsidizing the use of the train with monthly installments at nine euros that allow to travel all over the country.
The possibilities for reduced use of oil are many. The agency is committed to reducing business flights (we are already at pre-pandemic levels) or increasing teleworking. According to his calculations, three days a week would save 500,000 barrels a day.
Proposal: Stop using as much fuel as soon as possible. Every trip you don’t take by plane, every kilometer you don’t travel by car or motorcycle, will help. Yes, but what about when there is no alternative? What if I need yes or yes to drive? 👇🏽 https://t.co/IHLDtqQY2z
— M. Martinez 📝📚 | 🏠+😷 (@euklidiadas) June 1, 2022
The reduction of speed on the roads is just one more measure. But for some time now, some groups have been asking increased awareness citizen. An example is the previous tweet. One possibility for those who cannot give up their car (not having it can also be a privilege) is to park further away from their destination, taking advantage of walking a few minutes a day and slightly reducing fuel consumption. In Switzerland there is pressure for children to walk to school, Rivas-VaciaMadrida municipality near the capital, cuts access to reduce the risk of being run over at the door of schools and encourage children to walk or bike.
Photo | Kato Blackmore 🇺🇦