Just one year ago, this same column was congratulating the energy sector for its good performance during the most difficult period of the pandemic, as it had continued to supply electricity and operate normally despite the health situation. In the specific case of CSP technology, we had outlined the measures that had been taken in the installations to protect the health of the workers while guaranteeing the power supply to the grid.
The fall in demand and in the wholesale electricity market itself has caused liquidity problems for the installations, as the regulated payments to the entire RECORE sector – renewables, CHP and waste – were reduced by a coverage coefficient of around 77%, compared to the historic average of over 82%.
The situation in 2021 is diametrically opposed: electricity market prices have shot up to never-before-seen levels in Spain, impacted by the cost of emissions rights and natural gas.
In September 2021, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) released a report in which it showed that Spain has the greatest surplus of fossil capacity in Europe (sample analysed), with an estimated additional cost per annum of €361m in coal-fired power stations alone.
The big question that needs to be asked in the coming years is: what can we do to reduce the price of electricity and the presence of fossil fuels matching demand and, as such, setting a price affected by the cost of gas and CO2 emissions rights?