solar thermal electric

Abu Dhabi sues Spain over cuts to support for solar thermal project

The United Arab Emirates is suing Spain over its decision to dramatically reduce premiums for solar thermal energy (STE) production as part of its review of state aid to renewable energies.
Abu Dhabi sues Spain over cuts to support for solar thermal project

The complaint was filed Tuesday, 11 February 2014 with the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ISDIC) in Washington, D.C. It is the fourth case to be brought against Spain stemming from its reduction in support for renewable energy projects.

According to the ISDIC website, a tribunal has not yet been assembled to hear the arbitration case.

Spain has previously argued that its reduced support for renewables is justified by the government's need to reduce the tariff deficit. The deficit is the difference between what utilities claim it costs to produce electricity and what they may charge customers.

Madrid estimates that the reforms will save it €1.75 billion ($2.4 billion).

The litigation is a marked change in the relationship between Abu Dhabi and its European counterparts.

In October 2011, King Juan Carlos and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, presided the inauguration of the Gemasolar STE plant in Spain's Seville province.

The event was also attended by several members of the Abu Dhabi royal family and ministers from both countries.

The plant is operated by Masdar, a branch of Mubadala Development Company, the sovereign fund of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Masdar Solar & Wind Coöperatief U. A., a group unit based in the Netherlands, is the entity named as plaintiff in the ISDIC complaint.

The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes is an autonomous international institution established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID or the Washington Convention) with over one hundred and forty member States.

The Convention sets forth ICSID's mandate, organization and core functions. The primary purpose of ICSID is to provide facilities for conciliation and arbitration of international investment disputes.

For additional information:

International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes

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