Updated February 25, 2019
The country's nuclear moratorium enacted in 1983 halted the creation of enough nuclear power to replace all of the coal it now burns for electricity.
The loss of the Santa Maria de Garoña nuclear plant was a significant step backwards for Spain’s climate goals - the fossil fuels used to replace the plant’s power will increase emissions the carbon equivalent of almost a million new cars on the road in Spain.
The need to pay for tens of billions of dollars for renewable energy caused electricity prices to rise from below average before 2009 to among the highest in Europe.
Climate scientists including James Hansen, along with other concerned scientists, conservationists, and environmentalists have urged Spanish policymakers and other leaders to protect the country's nuclear plants.