Concentrated Solar Power: Abengoa and Acciona file lawsuits against Spain’s government

The department led by José Manuel Soria is accumulated judicial affairs. The latter has been derived from the freezing of access tolls January. By the same decisions in the past and had electric resources pending. Now also have suggested associations renewable and other green companies.

Acciona has been the latest addition-and certainly the most important, after an appeal on May 14, accepted for consideration by the High Court against the order IET/221/2013, which was published on February 16, one month and half after its entry into force.

The access fees represent the regulated part of the tariff of last resort (TUR), about 50%, and serve to address the special scheme premiums, mainland costs, distribution and transport. The remaining 50% is made up of energy prices. Therefore, despite the freeze in January tolls, light rose 3%, after power auctions thrown up 6%.

In that order also included the review of rates and premiums special treatment facilities (renewable and cogeneration), which draws on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at constant tax excluding unprocessed food and energy products.
Acciona resource adds to those reported in recent weeks by Endesa, Iberdrola, Gas Natural Fenosa, E.ON and organization that includes (along with HC Energy, which has not yet acted), Unesa and Enel Green Power, Elcogás and a score renewable companies and employers, among which Protermosolar, APPA and the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), to which the company belongs.

From Acciona do not comment on this resource, although other industry sources explain that “going in line” submitted by ESA against the order, which considers “that the provision is not legally sound and is seriously prejudicial to the interests it represents. ” For the association, this provision applies first Royal Decree-Law 2/2013 on urgent measures in the electrical system that was adopted on February 2 and, therefore, is the first opportunity to discuss judicially such measures.

Royal Decree-Law 2/2013, among other things, eliminated the premium provided for special regime facilities selling energy produced in the market, which, for the ESA, has affected more than 90% of Spanish wind farms , and changed the update settings in tariffs, which “represents a de facto reduction in pay”.

“The way it has approved the Royal Decree-Law, as well as their content, violate Community law and the Constitution, which allows, in the appeal against the order, put into question the action taken in urgently by the Government in Royal Decree-Law 2/2013 “, ESA said in a statement. It also alleged that the fact that the standard was published in February and is applicable from January 1, 2013 is a pure case of retroactivity or own, “so it clearly violates the rights acquired companies with the legal uncertainty “.

The president of Acciona already warned during the presentation of the results of 2012 three months ago that the company would initiate legal action against regulatory changes approved by the Government. “I think it is against the law and the group will seek advice and timely protection in this regard,” he said then, Jose Manuel Entrecanales, which estimates the negative impact on its accounts to the measures taken by the Executive in energy between the 160 and 170 million euros gross per year.

Thus, the appeal for two weeks could be just the first recourse against the decisions taken by the Government of Mariano Rajoy, which have a negative impact of about 2,000 million euros for the entire renewable sector in Spain, as calculated by Acciona. This figure amounts to 5,600 million from 2011.

U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Alan D. Solomont, noted “the importance of Abengoa” in his country and Spanish companies to invest in it. “We live in a world of global economy and this type of investment should be supported from both sides of the Atlantic,” said the ambassador, referring to the presence of Abengoa in U.S. and American companies in Spain.

Abengoa’s CEO, Manuel Sánchez Ortega, has accused the PP of “expropriate concentrating solar power sector companies with moratoriums and approved tax adjustments that have had “an impact of 5,000 million in value.”

During a breakfast organized by the New Economy Forum, Sanchez insisted that in Spain is “a certain uncertainty that is damaging” to the solar industry, and in general, the energy-“and is skeptical about the new regulatory framework that, he has said, “unfortunately be another new and the question is to know when will the next”.

“We look forward to-energy reform prepared by the Government, but to the complete absence of dialogue with industry we have no idea” containing measures, he lamented.

The Ministry of Industry is working on a new set of measures to reform the energy sector and one of the avenues open is to give another blow to renewable energy, which maintain different fronts by fiscal adjustment and moratoriums passed in recent years , although there are no formal decision. Abengoa’s CEO has criticized the government for legislating “by decree law” and has stressed that “countries that think that legal certainty is a nuanced issue investment repel and kill innovation.”

Sanchez has accused the government of letting the renewable energy sector “in a very complicated situation,” which has led some companies such as Acciona Energy, to undertake cuts in their workforce. On this point, the CEO has said that Abengoa “highly diversified”, allowing to “have a little more resistance.”

In this regard, he explained that Spain accounts for 20% of all company activity and this percentage is only one-third in solar power. Therefore, “the impact on our customers is zero.” Not so in the shareholders, political decisions “have been removed -5.000 million worth all the sector-, have been expropriated in the most strange we could imagine,” he complained.