Wind energy, a step backwards… to pause for breath?

2014 has been a year of clear contrasts for the wind power sector. And while the sector and its companies have continued to do what they know best by giving Spain something to smile about, the Government has penalised them up to unsuspected limits, to the extent that 2015 starts with dark clouds gathering on the horizon.

If we review the calendar month by month, 2014 can be divided into two very distinct parts: a first half in which wind power was the leading technology in the system, as it had been, for the first time in its history, for the whole of 2013. And a second half in which coal was king. In the middle, in June, the Executive finally published its Energy Reform, a set of regulations that have once again seen Spain in the headlines, but this time for negative reasons: for being the country in the world with the most restrictive legislation on wind power. This is a retroactive, discriminatory and unfair regulation that is going to paralyse the development of the sector in the coming years and alienate investments in Spain indefinitely.

If truth be told, the Spanish wind power sector started 2014 in full knowledge of what was around the corner. The Spanish Wind Energy Association fought tooth and nail to prevent it, but in vain as the Government, although they listened to us, did not hear what we had to say. The outcome has been a new fiscal system, introduced as a matter of urgency by Royal Decree-Law 9/2013, that even as far back as July 2013 had established some cuts on the revenues established by the previous system for existing facilities and that the excess revenue received as a result of its provisional application would have to be reimbursed at a later date.

Luis Polo
General Manager of the AEE, Spanish Wind Energy Association

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2015