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Spanish wind faces extended freeze

SPAIN: Spain's incumbent right-wing People's Party (PP), responsible for freezing the national wind market since taking office in 2011, looks set to continue in government, pending coalition negotiations.

Party leader and Spainish prime minister Mariano Rajoy (centre) celebrates the election result (pic:Twitter/Partido Popular)
Party leader and Spainish prime minister Mariano Rajoy (centre) celebrates the election result (pic:Twitter/Partido Popular)

The election was called to break the deadlock following a hung parliament returned by the December 2015 election that also failed to result in a coalition.

Despite facing hundreds of corruption scandals — as well as lawsuits against its renewables policies — the PP was the only party to grow its voter base on Sunday, receiving 39% of total seats, against 35% in December. Its closest rival, the socialist PSOE party, got just 24%.

National wind association AEE had declared in January that no new wind power was expected on Spain's mainland in 2016.

Spain was already the only western European wind market to have installed no commercial wind capacity at all in 2015. In 2014 it installed just 30MW; all a far cry from the 3.5GW of wind installed nationwide in 2007.

The PP legislation retroactively ended price support subsidies for renewables, including capacity already in operation, going against official state guarantees to maintain the subsidy framework for 20 years.

From AEE figures, any future coalition government with the PP will face in excess of 100 ongoing international litigation and arbitration cases from renewables investors.

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