Spanish grid chief issues renewables warning

SPAIN: José Folgado, president of the Spanish grid operator (REE) has called on regional governments to show "great prudence about opening a new phase of growth in renewable capacity".

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Speaking before REE's AGM today, Folgado controversially linked renewables expansion in the past decade to Spain's current 100% excess of installed generating capacity compared with peak demand.

Folgado, who was energy ministry in a previous Popular Party administration, backed the current Popular Party government's moratorium on renewables support for "opening a new period" in energy infrastructure planning.

Falling demand, which REE predicts will be 1.5% in 2013, combined with generating overcapacity is leading REE to discriminate unfairly against wind power when there is excess capacity in the grid, wind energy producers association AEE said this week. Wind producers have lost almost EUR 70 million so far this year as a result of disconnections, the association has calculated.

However, wind power has still broken records in the Iberian peninsula in 2013 as illustrated by the strong first quarter figures reported by EDPR yesterday. Generation was up 38% year-on-year in Spain to 1,813GWh and 62% in Portugal to 509GWh.

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