Production incentives promote quiet confidence

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Following the introduction of new production incentives for wind power in Spain, Antonio Mart’nez, head of wind turbine manufacturer Ecotècnia, is quietly confident about the future of the domestic market. His optimism is not so much based on the size of the incentives, which he feels are only just good enough, but on the productive partnership between the country's utilities and its wind project developers. The utilities have made a voluntarily commitment to ensuring the growth of wind power and they are keen to stick by it, says Mart’nez. Several have formed wind development partnerships, such as Iberdrola, which owns 50% of Gamesa, the Spanish manufacturer of Vestas turbines. The other 50% is owned by Vestas. "The utilities decided it would be in their interests to get involved. Don't forget they are making a profit with these projects," says Mart’nez. The production incentives for wind are ESP 5.26/kWh (EUR 0.032/kWh) for projects up to 50 MW, which tops up the market purchase price. The size of the incentive is adjusted annually to ensure that the final power purchase price for wind, the market price plus the incentive, is 88.5% of the consumer price of electricity. According to the system operator, the average purchase price for electricity will this year be ESP 5.79/kWh (EUR 0.035/kWh). Thus for 1999, the sale price of wind energy is fixed at ESP 11.02/kWh (EUR 0.066/kWh).

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