Spanish Wind Power Hits Buffers As Subsidies Slashed
h/t Hugh Sharman
Over the last two years, the Spanish govt has been slashing generous subsidies for the renewable energy industry. Unlike in the UK, where these subsidies are passed onto consumers, the Spanish government has been absorbing the cost, contributing to, what is called, a “tariff deficit” of 28 billion Euro.
The first move was made in 2012, shortly after the election, when Prime Minister Rajoy halted subsidies for new renewable-energy projects. This was followed up a year later with a far reaching review of Electricity Market regulations. Amongst other measures, this abolished the previous system of subsidy, which entitled renewable generators to a choice of payment:
1) To receive a premium plus the market price (the "market option").
2) A fixed regulated tariff (the "tariff option").
These are being replaced by a much less generous system of “specific remuneration”.
As a result the installation of new wind turbines has ground to a halt. As the AEE point out, only one small 80 KW turbine has been installed in the first part of the year.
Things were not much better last year, when only 175 MW was installed, an increase on total wind capacity of 0.77%.
Naturally the wind industry representatives are squealing, but it reinforces the message that wind power simply is not an economic proposition without large subsidies.