Negotiations over new Spanish windpower tariffs break down

SPAIN: Spain’s windpower industry is facing another year of investor uncertainty after make-or-break negotiations between the sector and government over post-2012 tariffs ended in failure.

Talks breaking down... Spain's energy minister Miguel Sebastián
Talks breaking down... Spain's energy minister Miguel Sebastián

With the Socialist government facing defeat in this month’s elections, the sector has asked industry minister Miguel Sebastián to drop his proposals for post-2012 tariffs and leave the drafting of new regulations to his successor.

Sebastián, who has promised to "seek consensus", is thought likely to accede.

"September is the earliest we can now expect to have regulations in place," Heikki Willstedt, energy policy director at the industry association AEE, told WPM, "but having nothing is better than having bad tariff regulations."

The AEE said the industry ministry’s proposals would kill investor confidence. The legislation is designed to reduce the cost of renewables support by limiting operating hours and introducing variable rates for wind generation premiums.

Delay in establishing a post-2012 regulatory framework "will hit turbine manufacturers especially," said Willstedt. "Orders will dry up because no-one is going to move projects without knowing what future returns are going to be".



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