The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Renewable Energy Recap: Spain

Developers, manufacturers, investors and other renewable energy industry stakeholders need to know where the next big market is going to be so that they can adjust their business decisions accordingly.

Since 2003, global consultancy Ernst & Young has released its Country Attractiveness Indices, which gives a numerical ranking to 30 global renewable energy markets by scoring renewable energy investment strategies and resource availability. The indices are updated on a quarterly basis and the most recent report can be found here.

Here is the firm’s assessment of Spain.


Following the expiry of its 2005-10 renewable energy plan, Spain is now looking to map out its strategy for the next decade to meet its binding EU 2020 emissions target. Early in the quarter, Spain approved more modest targets in its final draft of the 2011-20 renewable energy plan, in a bid to control subsidy costs while still encouraging growth. 

Compared with the June 2010 draft, which set out a target of 22.7% of total energy from RES, the country now aims to generate 20.8% from RES by 2020. This is equivalent to an installed capacity of 50 GW, down from 53.2 GW in previous drafts but is still almost double the 26GW installed at the end of last year last year The table below sets out the revised capacity targets. The table below sets out the revised capacity targets across the various renewable technologies. The most significant change occurs for PV, which had a 2020 target of 13.5 GW in previous drafts. 

Spain’s revised targets remain ambitious and do not appear to signal a lack of commitment by the Government. However, the success of this plan will rest largely on the backing it receives from the party that wins the forthcoming national general elections on 20 November 2011.


Just as the solar sector is beginning to come to terms with the major revisions to its incentive scheme over the past year, it appears that the wind sector must now also share the burden of helping the country reduce its subsidy bill for green energy. Spain’s landmark renewable energy Law, 661/2007, only governs wind power prices for new projects through to the end of next year, therefore a draft decree sent to the national energy commission in September sets out the proposed regulations post 2012. However, lobbyists are arguing the 2020 target will not be achieved if the bill is passed.

The draft bill, which sets out the rules for wind farms from 2013 onward, proposes a system of variable premiums which will diminish for capacity installed each year in excess of the annual target of 1.4 GW (required to reach the 2020 target of 35 GW). For the first 1.4 GW, all producers will receive a €20/MWh premium over market prices; however, the guaranteed floor price will decrease from the current €77/MWh to €55/MWh, and will be reviewed annually.

The decree also limits subsidies for wind projects to 12 years compared with the current and developers will only receive premium payments during the first 1,500 operating hours each year. Finally, premiums will not be revised in line with inflation. 

The Spanish wind energy association (AEE) has warned that these measures will introduce a level of volatility into support levels that could make financing projects impossible. It claims that the proposed measures will essentially result in a 40% reduction in support for wind farms installed after 2012. Wind sector developers and investors in Spain, and across Europe, will be waiting nervously over the coming months to see whether the draft decree will be passed and its likely impact on the country’s project pipeline. 


While Spain’s solar PV sector continues to face falling profits and legal wrangling, the country’s CSP sector continues to prosper as the world’s number one market. At the end of July, installed capacity totaled 852 MW, almost double that of the U.S., the second biggest CSP market. Spain currently has 21 plants online, 27 under construction, and 13 fully licensed facilities, the result of which will be an estimated installed capacity of around 2.5 GW by the end of 2013.

In order to finance these new CSP projects, companies have opted to establish JVs, particularly with Japanese partners such as Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Itochu and JGC Corporation. Project financing has also becoming an increasingly viable option for CSP projects. For example, eight European banks have provided €288m for Solar Millennium AG’s 50-MW Arenales project near Seville, along with a €10 million letter of credit and a €21 million value added tax (VAT) facility.

M&A activity

Prior to the recently proposed wind subsidy cuts, 2011 had witnessed a surge in M&A activity, notably the sale of ACS’s renewable energy assets to the following three buyers:

  • Bridgepoint acquired 11 wind farms with a total capacity of 443 MW for a consideration of €596.5 million. 
  • Canepa Asset Management purchased nine wind farms with a total combined raw installed capacity of 215 MW for €223.4 million including debt. 
  • Gas Natural Fenosa Group acquired five wind farms totaling 95.5 MW, in which it already held a shareholding, for a value of €72.4 million.

And the distressed solar PV market has also given rise to an upswing in M&A activity. This has resulted in one of the largest investments in an operational portfolio to date: Munich-Re and KKR’s acquisition of a 49% stake in a diversified portfolio of solar parks and operational assets from T-Solar Global SA for a consideration of approximately €140 million.

For more information on renewable energy development in Spain, contact the report’s authors Victor Durán Schul and Jaime López-Pinto.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now


wind energy

Interior Plans November Auction for Offshore New Jersey Wind Energy Rights

Wayne Barber U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

Sage Grouse Removed as Threat to Biggest Wind Farm in U.S.

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg Billionaire Phil Anschutz’s plans to build a $5 billion wind farm in southeast Wyoming will no longer be stymied by t...


US Solar Hosts Sierra Club Solar Meeting

This past Monday, US Solar welcomed a new group to its solar training classroom – The S...

US Solar Invited to Speak at Intersolar North America

Intersolar, the largest solar conference and expo in North America is right around the ...

US Solar - Green Planet Festival Highlights Solar Energy and Solar Training This Weekend

US Solar Institute (USSI) is excited to announce that they are the educational sponsor ...

Yaskawa – Solectria Solar Provides Inverters for One of the Largest Professional Sport Stadium PV Systems in North America

Yaskawa - Solectria Solar, a leading U.S. PV inverter manufacturer, announced today tha...


Solar Decathlon 2015 Opens to the Public in California

Today, Oct. 8, the biennial Solar Decathlon opened up to the public at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, ...

ENER-G CHP technology selected for major London housing scheme

ENER-G has been selected to supply combined heat and power (CHP) technology for phase two of the Leopold Estate housi...


Necessity is the mother of innovation. Our planet is going through major changes in climate. This of course will affe...

Georgia Legislature Approves PPA’s, Florida Hoping to Follow

Ah, the sunny south, the land of peaches, oranges and solar potential. I’m talking about Georgia and Florida he...



Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...


Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...

SPI Brings Out The Best In Solar

Phew…...those cross-country flights sure take a lot out of a guy....

Saving Vs. Gaining

Whenever I do a national keynote speech or customized coaching session f...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now