Energy trading in Spain: requirements and market players

In the Spanish energy market, and under the Spanish legislation, only energy retailer companies meeting a series of requirements can trade and sell energy in Spain. Failure to comply entails the payment of heavy fines.

The players in the energy market

The activities involved in the electricity supply are those based on its generation, transmission, distribution, commercialisation, intra-community and international exchanges, and the economic and technical management of the electricity system. The key players in the Spanish electricity market are:

  • Producers: generators of electricity, responsible for building, operating, and maintaining the production plants
  • Self-producers: generators of electricity, primarily for self-use.
  • System Operator (Red Eléctrica de España – REE): guarantees the continuity and security of the electricity supply and the correct coordination of the production and transport system
  • Transporters: their role is to transport electricity, and build, maintain and operate transportation facilities
  • Distributors: allocate electricity, build, maintain and operate distribution facilities to bring the energy to the consumption points, and sell it to ultimate consumers or other distributors.
  • Retailers: legal entities that supply electricity to consumers by accessing the transmission or distribution networks.
  • Consumers: individuals who purchase energy for consumption.

Requirements for energy retailer companies in Spain

Under Spanish law, only companies registered as traders can carry out energy trading activities.

How to become an energy retailer

To register as an energy retailer company in Spain, the company must notify the Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines (Dirección General de Política Energética y Minas). The Directorate belongs to the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda (Ministerio de Energía, Turismo y Agenda Digital).

The communication must specify the territorial area where the activity will take place and include a Declaration of Responsibility regarding compliance with the requirements for an electricity commercialisation activity.

Legal requirements to be a retailer

  • Proof of the legal capacity
  • Proof of the technical capacity
  • Proof of its economic capacity and guarantees (BOE nº 115 and BOE Nº 120)
  • Contract and payment of the access toll to the transmission and distribution networks
  • Accurate measurement of supplies and accessibility to the devices used
  • Proof of adequate IT and personnel resources for daily communication with the wholesale market
  • Communication to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the competent Administration of the relevant information in each case (access rates or tolls, prices, consumption, billing, and conditions of sale)
  • Verification that clients meet consumers’ requirements

Fines for companies trading with energy without complying with the above requirements range from €6,000 to €6,000,000.


With the boom of different renewable energies, becoming an energy retailer is a source of opportunities in the electricity business. However, Spain requires companies to register as traders and comply with the established legal requirements.

Isabel Prat

If your company is considering becoming an energy retailer in Spain and you need additional information,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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