National plan aims for 13,000 MW of wind power by 2011

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Renewables will become Spain's second largest source of electricity by 2011 if the objectives of last month's national energy electricity and gas infrastructure strategy are met. The strategy aims to double renewables generating capacity with an extra 14,000 MW. Wind will make up 46% of the renewables total with 13,000 MW online by 2011, more than tripling the current figure. The wind target is also more than 4000 MW higher than the minimum objectives of the national renewables promotion plan -- the Plan de Fomento -- from 2000. The biggest single contributor to the new energy mix will be 14,800 MW of combined cycle gas plant, providing 33.1% of the total. The anticipated investment required to realise the energy strategy is EUR 26.5 million of which EUR 18.5 million goes to investment in new generation based on a 3.1% annual growth rate in primary energy consumption. Of the remainder, EUR 2.7 million is for electricity transport and EUR 5.3 million for gas pipelines and regasification. Given the emphasis on gas, the renewables sector has greeted the plan with cautious optimism. The main fear is that gas will end up getting more than the target share due to the growing political will behind this source. Spain's renewables producers' association, APPA, points out that combined cycle gas projects totalling 35,000 MW are already being processed, more than double the 2011 target. APPA also fears that the lack of long-term guarantees in Spain's renewables tariffs could make investors reluctant to produce the EUR 12,000 million requirement for renewables.

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