No new wind capacity in Spain in 2015

29.01.2016
Sad negative trend: the expansion of renewable energies in Spain remains far below the levels of previous years. (Source: CNMC, REE, AEE)
Sad negative trend: the expansion of renewable energies in Spain remains far below the levels of previous years. (Source: CNMC, REE, AEE)

The year 2015 has closed as the darkest in the history of wind energy in Spain, with no new wind capacity installed. This has not happened since the 80´s, when a shy development of the sector started in the country, which was accelerated in the 90´s and consolidated in the next decade.

According to the Spanish Wind Energy Association (Asociación Empresarial Eólica, AEE) installed wind power capacity in Spain reached 22,988 MW in 2015. That is just the same as one year before. Wind power production in 2015 was 47,721 GWh – 5.8 % below that of 2014. According to Red Eléctrica de España this corresponds to 19.4 % of the total electricity consumption.

Looking back for four years, only 1,932 MW have been installed, which means that the last political term was the least wind friendly by far since 2000. Moreover, since the launch of the new renewable support system in 2013, the sector has only installed 27 MW. In fact, the Spanish wind energy manufacturers have survived thanks to exports.

The main consequence of the sector’s paralysis is that Spain is far from the EU targets of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, which are binding. The only possibility is to take the appropriate steps to comply with the Government’s Energy Planning for 2020, which establishes in 6,400 MW the need of wind energy capacity to meet Europe’s targets.

To meet the targets in such a short space of time, AEE considers essential to recover the legal security lost after the Energy Reform, which has jeopardized many wind farms and companies and has resulted in a number of national and international legal processes. For a starter, it is necessary to amend certain aspects of the regulation, such as the regulator’s possibility of changing economic conditions and, with them, reasonable return every six years. It would also be necessary to call as soon as possible an auction for the remaining 5,900 MW of wind power or a schedule of auctions to be held before the end of 2017 in order to install the necessary capacity in time to meet the deadline.

Katharina Garus / AEE

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