CSP plants: increasing in value

    2014 marked the completion of the reforms process in the electricity sector with a clearly unbalanced outcome that favours traditional generation technologies or the transport and distribution sectors over renewable energies. In the specific case of the CSP sector, the new fiscal conditions are having a real impact on the profitability of investments made into the 50 plants constructed – well below the 7.4% that the Law guarantees – as well as the coverage rates to service the debt. As such it is now time to focus, even more if possible, on optimising operation and in some cases, negotiating formulae that alleviate liquidity problems that have been additionally aggravated by the enormous time lag in covering the payments during this first year of implementing the new system.

    The most significant change in the last of these regulatory modifications undertaken (RD 4513/2014 ) is that most of the compensation is based on the investment made and not the production of energy, as originally provided for under RD 661/2007, which means there is no incentive for developers to increase production. This last formula has consolidated the regulatory changes that, from the end of 2012, have reduced the revenue of the CSP plants more than one third.

    The result of this has been a number of arbitration claims being brought before the ICSID by international investors that, unlike national entities, are eligible to use this tool to bring a claim against the Spanish State. Spanish investors will have to wait for definitive settlements before they can stake their claim before the courts.

    Luis Crespo, General Secretary Protermosolar

    Artículo publicado en: FuturENERGY Marzo 2015