Funding cuts

Expansion of renewables in Spain collapses

Katja Dombrowski, 1 Sep 14
Spain once led the way in renewable energy generation but installation of green electricity plants in Spain has virtually ground to a halt. Last year, according to the state grid operator Eléctrica de España (REE) renewables only added 103 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity and 237 MW of wind power.

The industry associations World Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council even put the figure for added wind power at just 175 MW. Behind this is the conservative government’s moratorium on subsidies led by Mariano Rajoy, in office since the end of 2011. In 2012 she halted the further expansion of renewables; in 2013 the way was paved to repeal the feed-in law, which was finalised in June this year.

Spain was once the world’s largest solar market. In 2013, when the country was in the grip of an economic crisis, the Global Status Report of the Renewable Energy Policy Network REN21 put Spain in sixth place worldwide in terms of installed photovoltaic capacity and in fourth place for wind power. Early this year, the Spanish wind energy association AEE reported that in 2013 wind power had been the country’s number one energy source.

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