The wind energy industry installed 1,112 MW in Spain in 2012

The wind energy industry installed 1,112 MW in Spain in 2012, representing an increase of 5.13% in the year.

This percentage increase is similar to that of 2011, the weakest of the history of wind energy in Spain.

On December 31, the total accumulated wind power sector amounted to 22,785 MW, according to data compiled by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE).

2012 was the last year of the Pre-allocation, which implies that entered operation intended end quotas for wind farms and delayed from previous phases.

So that will be outstanding only the last wind farms that were enrolled in the registry, which they were notified of their pre-assignment after January 31, 2009 (Royal Decree-Law 6/2009 stated that the installation of a pre-assigned wind farm could be up to 36 months after was notified that its inclusion in the registry).

At present, there are about 850 MW installed and registered, of which about 450 have already declared that they can not be built under the current rules problems beyond the control of the promoters (delays in the planning of the transport network and distribution lines, administrative difficulties, etc.).

This means that, with valid green moratorium, only remain installed in Spain under the current rules about 400 MW in 2013 and 2014.

However, after the Royal Decree-Law 2/2013 adopted by the Government, which assumes that all wind farms will compulsorily regulated rate as well as reducing the update settings of incentives, even threatens the installation of these wind farms remaining, given the loss of return implied by the new rules.

According to calculations by the Spanish Wind Energy Association, the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of Spanish wind farms will be reduced to 400 basis points after the application of the new measures, which is a breach of the Electricity Act, which specifies that should ensure reasonable return on renewable energy installations.

This could lead to a high number of wind parks unable to meet its payment obligations due to lack of cash.

If December 31 marked a before and after for wind power in Spain by the completion of the Pre-allocation, and completion of the term of the Royal Decree 661/2007, on 1 February brought even worst news as the rules adopted by the Government is retroactive, restrictive and affects all facilities running.

That is, it violates the rights of businesses acquired and, therefore, legal security, while making unacceptable interventionism goes against previous decrees which enacted a progressive integration of wind power in the market.

This lack of roadmap, objectives and long-term visibility, which has had dramatic consequences for the wind energy, now adds a further loss of confidence, which will impact not only on the field, but in all investments foreigners in Spain.

The wind energy industry has already lost 40% of jobs that had been generated in the country, a trend that will continue now with greater virulence. With no orders for the domestic wind turbines, the wind energy industry (from large manufacturers to small wind turbine components and services companies) is rethinking its presence in the country.

The latest standards adopted by the Government could have even more serious consequences.

The balance of autonomy

According to data collected by the Spanish Wind Energy Association, which keeps track of all companies in the sector in Spain and uses the criterion of final commissioning of calculations, Castile and Leon grabbed 25% of the installed capacity in 2012, with a total of 277 new MW, so that continues to lead the ranking. Catalonia, with 256 MW, and Andalusia, with 196 MW, was the following communities were more wind farms built.

Under the Spanish Wind Energy Association accounting criteria, only seven companies promoting wind farms have installed 50 MW or more in 2012: Iberdrola, Eolia Renovables, VAPAT, EDPR, Aldesa Renewable Energy, Acciona Energy and Gamesa Energía.

The criterion used by the Spanish Wind Energy Association to calculate the installed power is the Commissioning Act of wind parks that do not always coincide with the data published by the promoters.

The total figure is linked to promoter attributable capacity according to their percentage interest in the wind farms. Renomar has a total of 493.5 MW. Acciona controls 50% of this company, so that the table reflects only 50% corresponding to Medwind. For manufacturers, Gamesa wind turbines were most added power (423 MW), followed by Vestas (338 MW).

The wind power covered 17.4% of electricity generation in 2012, according to Spain’s Red Electrica (REE), and prevented the emission of 24.6 million tons of CO2 in 2011, the equivalent of planting 50 million trees. In the quarter ended January 31, the wind power stood as the technology that has generated more electricity in Spain, with a total production of 16,410 GWh, capable of covering 26% of mainland electricity demand.