Spanish wind additions dry up

The wind industry installed less than 0.1MW in Spain in the first half of the year as a result of energy reforms that amount to a "regulatory punishment", according to the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).

In the first half of 2014 Spain added just one 80kW wind turbine in Galicia, which leaves its total wind capacity at the end of June static at 22.97GW, according to data compiled by AEE – with no orders for the domestic market.

The only other wind-related activity in the six months to June was start of operations at the 11.5MW Gorona wind park in the Canary Islands, an experimental wind-hydro plant.

The Spanish wind sector has been left reeling from several years of regulatory reforms which has seen support changed retrospectively and new taxes imposed.

The new regulation in Spain does not provide incentives for pilot projects, "which closes the door to new initiatives", said AEE.

"The implementation rules following the Energy Reform makes it very difficult for new investments in the country because, first, there are legal uncertainties that changed the rules retroactively and, secondly, because the new system does not guarantee the profitability of projects," it said.

According to new data released by the organisation, it is "unclear" if 177MW already registered with the government will proceed to installation.

In 2013 928MW worth of pre-registered wind projects were dropped in the country as a result of the new regulations.

"This drought for new investments has a direct impact on the wind industry which, without possibilities of new orders in the domestic markets, is facing a dilemma of closing factories and staying, or leaving Spain," said the AEE in a statement.

Despite the negligible increase in installations in the first half, wind was Spain’s leading source of electricity, generating 28.8TWh and meeting 23.2% of demand, according to provisional data of Red Eléctrica of Spain (REE), quoted by the AEE.

The organisation said for consumers, this means the lowest price for power since 2010 at €32.9 per MWh – 11% lower than the price of the same period last year, and 32% below that of 2012.