Spain needs wind energy rules before election

Spain’s wind farm sector cannot wait until November’s general elections for legislation on subsidies from December 2012,  Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) said.

The wind energy sector is already suffering from a drop in new wind farm plants due to uncertainty over the subsidies and will shrink further unless Spain’s government approves support for new wind farm plants after end-2012, Spanish Wind Energy Association said.

"If the new rules are not out before the elections, the uncertainty will go on for at least another year and more wealth and jobs will be destroyed." the Spanish Wind Energy Association said in a statement.

Spain is the world’s fourth-largest generator of wind power, which serves about a sixth of its power demand, and home to two of the largest wind farm companies, Iberdrola and Acciona , as well as major wind turbines maker Gamesa .

Lack of consensus between Spain’s government and the opposition party has delayed the completion of an energy sector road map for 2012-2020.

The government estimates that wind farm will have to increase to 35 gigawatts by 2020 from 20.6 GW at the end of 2010 to meet EU targets on carbon dioxide emission cuts.

AEE estimates that Spain’s wind power sector has lost 10,000 jobs, or a quarter of its workforce, in the past two years in the country with the highest level of unemployment in the euro zone.