Masdar sues Spain over reforms

Masdar, the renewables company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has taken legal action against Spain regarding Madrid’s still-pending retroactive changes to its renewables support schemes.

As an investor in Torresol Energy, Masdar is partial owner of the 19.9MW Gemasolar CSP project, which was commissioned in 2011 near Seville.

Masdar on 11 February filed a complaint with the Washington DC-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which is a member of the World Bank Group.

Masdar’s filing represents the fourth against Spain by foreign investors regarding changes to the country’s support schemes, according to Reuters.

Several investment funds are known to be seeking compensation from Madrid at the Paris-based International Court of Arbitration, and German utilities RWE and Stadtwerke München are also understood to be mulling lawsuits, given their investments in the Andasol 3 CSP project and a number of wind farms.

Several renewables-friendly Spanish regions have also taken legal action against Madrid.

Last summer Madrid abolished Spain’s long-standing feed-in tariff system and replaced it with a retroactive profit ceiling for renewables projects, effectively killing off Spain’s renewables market for the foreseeable future and massively denting the profits generated by existing projects.

Arbitration cases at the ICSID typically take more than three years to reach a resolution, according to legal experts.