In the last Council of Ministers of the year (DEC 27) various measures have been approved that facilitate the development of renewable projects in the pipeline and support the wind industry.
The wind sector sees the approved measures as correct and timely, which were urgent to solve the future of tens of thousands of renewable megawatts and thus ensure progress towards the energy transition and decarbonization objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). The more than 8,000 MW of wind power that had pending obtaining administrative construction authorization (AAC) by the end of January, should now have enough time to complete this procedure and to be built.
Given a pace of resolution of AACs for wind projects that was slower than necessary to meet the milestones established in the legislation, the extension of 6 additional months to obtain them is an important help to reduce the risk of mature projects losing the access permit for not arriving on time.
Additionally, the extension of the final milestone for obtaining the administrative exploitation authorization (AAE) is coherent and necessary to allow financing and construction processes in better conditions for the value chain, without temporal pressures that could generate distortions in prices or greater financial risks. With this extension, in addition, it prevents projects that have been paralyzed by judicial decisions – which are being annulled by the Supreme Court -, as is the case of more than 207 MW paralyzed wind power in Galicia, from running the risk of losing their access to the network if they do not meet the final milestone previously in force. For these projects the timer to meet the milestone had not stopped, but its progress and construction had. In fairness, they are given a longer period of time so that they can return to normality without additional pressures to those already experienced after the precautionary stoppages suffered and finally overcome. At this point, it is also guaranteed that the industry that had already signed long-term contracts (PPAs) with these facilities can continue to count on them as suppliers of competitive electricity.
It is also positive for project promoters who have completed their installation in a timely manner, that their network access permit will not be revoked if the transportation or distribution substations where they have to be connected had not been completed on time.
Likewise, the extension to 9 years of the validity period of access permits for offshore wind is consistent with the expectations of processing these projects, their complexity as they are floating technology and the specificity of the offshore wind market in Spain. . Having this longer period to be able to develop the projects will also allow the promoters to begin developing them in time and even be able to decide which of the auctions in the future calendar is the most appropriate for their interests.
Having more time for the start-up of wind farms, from the point of view of the wind industry located in our country, has the effect of reducing pressure on the supply chain, which allows reducing inflation in energy prices. raw materials and components. The current situation to date implied high risks in terms of deadlines and costs, which were being taken advantage of by Asian competitors to enter the European market. In this way, the European industry is helped to compete in a fairer and more balanced scenario. At this point it is necessary to configure a permitting scenario that allows for maximizing orders from the European industry while opting for mature projects that are likely to be carried out, avoiding practices that do not provide added value to the development of wind power. In this sense, the approval of the possibility of establishing up to a maximum of 30% weighting in energy auctions of non-economic award criteria is an important contribution to achieving the objectives of the recently published European Wind Power Package. Action Plan).
In any case, we must keep in mind that the contingent of wind farm projects that will have to be processed each year is enormous, which requires us to act with efficient efforts. For this reason, the wind sector encourages going one step further and implementing additional mechanisms that guarantee that the processing efforts by public administrations are allocated to those mature projects whose ultimate objective is to be built and put into operation, preventing favoring those speculative practices that do not provide added value, so that the processing times are the same.