New lobby takes market approach

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Now claiming nearly 40 members, representing 80% of the country's wind development industry, Spain's new wind lobby group, Plataforma Eólica Empresarial (PEE), is increasingly looking to shape the long term market. While it is campaigning for the wind support mechanism to be retained in the short-term (main story), PEE is also calling for regulation that will enable wind to position itself in the mainstream electricity market.

PEE wants fair electricity trading arrangements which do not penalise wind unduly for deviations from scheduled production. And it is pushing for improved production forecasting by wind plant operators. It plans a series of reports on both issues between October and January.

The group is busy compiling a dossier of technical, legal and economic barriers to wind power as identified by the various authorities having to deal with wind -- from central government to local electricity distributors. At the same time it is comparing wind prediction models from various countries and working with research institutions on new ones. PEE is also assessing the dynamic grid performance of wind plant throughout Spain and aims to draw up behavioural patterns at different points.

A proposal is also being prepared for economic incentives to encourage wind power to provide the reactive power necessary for maintaining grid tension. A similar incentive will be proposed to encourage operators to opt for flexible production via improved prediction methods.


PEE is demanding transparent and complete information from all parties. The wind industry has long complained that lack of transparency has allowed the grid operator and distributors to arbitrarily deny access to wind developers. One of PEE's founding beliefs is that much of the intransigence between wind and other areas of the electricity sector can be resolved via compromise and exhaustive negotiation.

"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by talking out these points," says one developer member. Apparently, the only major Spanish wind developers not to have joined PEE are the country's largest renewables pure player, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra and Sinae, the renewables wing of utility Hidrocantábrico.

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