Iberdrola feels Spain wind pain

Energy giant Iberdrola saw its Spanish wind business hammered by new regulatory measures that almost wiped out profits from the renewable source in its home country.

Iberdrola said in its renewables division, first-quarter earnings fell 63% before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) and net profits plunged 93%.

That was despite record wind generation in the January-March period.

Iberdrola said of the new Spanish regulation, which include a tax on production and change support arrangements: “The impact of these new measures has especially affected wind installations, rather than other technologies such as solar energy.”

The impact on Iberdrola’s overall performance was softened by strong contributions from the UK, US and Latin America.

The overall renewables operation saw Ebitda fall 27.1% to €371.4m ($514.4m).

At a group level Iberdrola said the Spanish measures made a €260m hit on its gross margin, and it expects a €380m impact for the year as a whole.

Despite that it said Q1 saw a “solid operational performace” with net profits up 8.4% to €952.6m, including one-off benefits from disposals.