Spain figures show wind power slowdown

SPAIN - Just 727MW of new installed wind capacity was put into operation in Spain during the first six months of 2010, against a half-year average of over 1000MW betwen 2004 and 2008.

AEE figures show a Spanish wind slowdown
AEE figures show a Spanish wind slowdown

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The figures were released in an update from national wind energy association, Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE).

Its figures underline the slowdown of Spain’s wind market following last year’s new law which capped national installed capacity to the end of 2012.

Officially, that cap is set at 1.6GW annually. AEE argues, however, that many of the projects the government approved to end-2012 were already under construction, leaving, in practice, less that 800MW of new capacity to be built out 2010-2012.

Nevertheless, AEE’s figures show wind power consolidated its position as the third biggest contributor to the electricity system, covering 17% of electricity consumed during the six-month period, according to system operator, Red Eléctrica de España (REE).

That is up on 14% coverage of demand for the whole of 2009 and 12% in 2008.

The total cost to the system in incentives to wind power was 863 million over the six months, according to national regulator, Comisión Nacional de Energía (CNE), or 11% of total system costs.

AEE calculates wind power to be behind 2.3 of the average monthly domestic electricity bill over the period.

While wind is on target to meet the national 20.16GW objective by the end of 2010, AEE calls on the government, in a statement, to complete "as soon as possible" the pay scheme for new capacity online after 2012, when eligibility to the existing production incentive expires.

AEE says new projects are failing to clinch finance deals due to the regulation vacuum, threatening progress towards the national 38GW wind target to 2020.

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