Spanish wealth

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Spain enjoys a wealth of home grown specialist wind talent, nurtured by the stable market for wind energy and the increasing number of wind courses that are springing up to meet the demand from developers for trained staff. Universities across the country have created renewable energy departments, offering masters courses in the technological, market and legal aspects of wind power.

Many of the universities are in regions where the wind sector is tightly regulated to the point that regional governments demand local jobs and wealth in return for development concessions. An example is Navarra, where the regional government not only views renewables as a vital strategic industry but also holds majority shares in one of Spain's leading wind developers, Energia Hidroelectrica de Navarra. The national renewable energy research centre -- Centro Tecnologico de Energias Renovables -- has been set up in the regional capital, Pamplona, in conjunction with the city university's renewables faculty.

Furthermore, the bulk of Spanish wind development is concentrated in the hands of the four utilities and a few large engineering and construction groups, all with highly qualified and experienced project development staff. With just one or two wind specialists at the helm of each company's renewables activities, talent is channelled to forge a specialised wind development department. One area of specialist know-how that some developers admit to lacking is wind plant auditing, though this is normally contracted to UK consultancy Garrad Hassan which, one developer says "practically monopolise the field."

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