Spain has offered an olive branch in its long-running legal battle with renewables developers. But the fight isn’t over yet.
Spain’s Constitutional Court has published the full details of its judgement rejecting appeals against a decrease in feed-in tariffs for renewable energy sources, but the reasoning has been branded “short, superficial and alien to reality” by a legal representative.
Hours after learning of the Supreme Tribunal’s doubts regarding the constitutionality of the removal of the feed-in tariff for PV, Spain’s Ministry of Industry reports that the Constitutional Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by Murcia and affirmed that this can set a legal precedent.
After becoming a world leader in solar, with more than 4.6 gigawatts of solar PV installed by 2013, the new order has decimated cleantech investments in the country. Last year saw just 22 megawatts of solar installed across the whole country. It is unlikely that Spain will meet its 2020 targets for renewables set by the EU.
The subject of the arbitration proceedings, which will be carried out in Stockholm, is the reduction in the feed-in tariff for renewable energy projects that was implemented in Spain last year.
The Spanish government eliminated the financial risks, as all of the electricity generated by the plants would be purchased and paid with a Feed-in-Tariff for the next 20 years. Once the first plants were commissioned, Andasol 1 and PS10, the technology risk was mitigated as these plants were working as expected.
The Energy Ministry has recently released a draft proposal for the parameters to estimate the ‘reasonable return’ or ‘profitability’ to be applied to all renewable energy generators, eliminating the previous Feed-in-Tariff scheme. – See more at: http://www.csp-world.com/news/20140218/001317/what-has-happened-spain-csp-fit#sthash.S0LbmMkx.dpuf
Wind power was the main source of energy in Spain last year for the first time ever and also for the first time ever in any country, according to the industry association AEE.
The utility, which operates Andasol 3, a 50 MW parabolic trough plant in southern Spain, is considering the options to take Spanish government to International Courts of Arbitration.
Josep Puig: In the past five or six years, Spanish power firms have built some 26,000 MW of combined-cycle power plants. These firms apparently did not see all of this renewable capacity coming, and I believe the average number of operating hours for these plants was around 2,000 last year, which puts their capacity factor at below 25%.