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Spanish renewables hit ‘disproportionately’ by reform

Spain’s electricity reform cut support to renewables producers by around 30% last year while other players in the electricity system emerged relatively unscathed, new data shows.

Renewables producers received around €5.24bn in 2014, according to data published last week by the Spanish competition commission (CNMC). This compares to the €7.5bn they would have received under the previous support regime, according to industry ministry projections.

The data confirms that the reforms designed to eliminate the so-called electricity deficit hit the renewables sector disproportionately, the renewables industry association APPA said on 9 April.

By contrast, payments to electricity grid and distribution companies in recognition of investments in the transport and distribution network rose from €6.3bn in 2013 to €6.7bn in 2014.

Big industry received €540m in compensation for agreeing that their supply could be cut off in the event of a shortfall in power during peak demand, down 18% on 2013 but 17% higher than in 2012.

Data from the Spanish electricity market operator (OMIE) reveals state subsidies for generation at power plants burning Spanish-mined coal totalled €234m in 2014, up from €224m in 2013.

The figures show that “renewable energies have had to and continue to have to make tremendous adjustments while other elements of the system have barely noticed the cuts”, according to APPA president José Miguel Villarig.

The government “cannot call time on electricity reform” without tackling elements in the electricity bill “which are wholly extraneous to the cost of supply”, APPA stated.


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Issue 41