Page 50 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 50
Summer 2014 European Energy Innovation


Let there be energy! harbinger of new policies that go
As can be seen in the graph, wind has become an important source of energy against all that has been achieved
thanks to the development and deployment of wind energy technology. Where under the common European
there was only wind now there is enough electricity to cover the demand of 90% of objectives: first, a moratorium in
all Spanish households. And without emissions of CO2, or of classical air pollutants the further development of wind
like SO2, NOx or particles. power and other renewables.
Afterwards, a new 7% tax on
Wind power generation for each inhabitant in Spain the production of electricity
1997-2013 that affects disproportionately
wind installations. And in 2013
a change in the support system
for existing installations that
entails a retroactive cutback in
the incentives for wind farms that
could be a fatal blow for many

member states. This significance With long term goals set With these new policies, it is
for renewable energy sources was by the EU and the Spanish doubtful that Spain will be able
established in an objective for Government, and thanks to to reach the EU objective for
2010 to achieve a penetration of the stability of the incentive renewables for 2020, and it is
12% of these resources in terms system, the cost of capital went quite possible that the costs of
of primary energy consumption. down rapidly at the beginning future installations will rise due
of the century. Both developers to the legal insecurity that these
The Spanish Government and manufacturers developed decisions have imposed on
incorporated this goal into into a reality that goes beyond investors.
its legislative framework in European borders. Thanks to
1997. It was obvious back then the cost competitiveness of The Spanish wind power sector
that regulatory stability was wind power (in 2007 a study by has been actively asking the
fundamental to achieve a long the EC rated Spain as the EU Spanish Government and the
term goal of deployment of most cost efficient country in the EU Commission to stop these
capital intensive technologies, development of wind power), erroneous policies that go
like wind power. A feed-in-tariff Spain was able to comply with against the recommendations
incentive system was established the EU objectives for 2010 and on regulatory changes that
and kept until 2013, with was looking with confidence the EC itself has made public
certain improvements like the to the attainment of the 2020 at the beginning of 2014. But
establishment of the feed-in- EU objective of reaching 20% time is running short and if the
premium system to integrate wind of renewables in final energy new regulatory system is finally
power installations into the daily consumption. approved it will be a blow to the
power market (this system is now entire European wind energy
being proposed by the European But this successful EU story is in sector and the common goals of
Commission as the model to danger. the European Union.
gradually harmonize all national
incentive schemes in the next Unfortunately, the change in the The main message from the
decade). Government in 2012 has been the sector is that economic rationality
and dialogue should be the main
tools to reach a solution for the
sector in order not to harm the
industry’s long term potential and
its ability to continue creating
prosperity in Spain and Europe. ●
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