solar thermal electric

Spanish government authorises 9,000 MW of renewable power

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Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade has published the registry of pre-assignation of remuneration for renewable energy projects, and in doing so has approved 338 installations with a combined capacity of 9,050 MW.

According to regulations, the registered plants will now be able to sell power to the grid under the existing feed-in tariff system over four stages between 2010 and 2013, rather than having to wait for a new feed-in tariff and conditions that have not yet been established, but will undoubtedly be less advantageous.

The registry of pre-assignation of remuneration is now closed to wind and solar thermal electric energy because they have reached the targets established in Spain’s Renewable Energy Plan 2005-2010. Meanwhile, the registry remains open for biogas, biomass, co-generation and small hydro, which further capacity still needs to be installed to reach the objectives established in the plan.

Solar thermal electric and wind clear leaders

The 9,050 MW included in the registry is dominated by two technologies. 2,339.89 MW of solar thermal electric projects and 6,389.04 MW of wind farms have been registered, and these two sectors are both very much relieved to see their projects receive the green light after a wait of over six months.

Among those most benefiting from this latest development are solar thermal electric developer, Abengoa Solar, responsible for the world’s largest solar tower in Seville. Abengoa has had thirteen of its power stations with a total output capacity of 650 MW registered, many of which are under construction. These include the Solúcar Solar and Écija complexes in in Andalusia and four plants in the Extremadura Complex near Cáceres.

These 650 MW, together with the 31 MW currently in operation at the PS10 and PS20 solar power towers, will enable Abengoa Solar to have a solar thermal electric output capacity totalling an impressive 681 MW in Spain by mid-2013.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, underscored the significance of the inclusion of these thirteen plants in the registry, "which will enable us to create five technologically advanced solar platforms in some of the areas with the best conditions in Spain. The experience we are presently acquiring will continue to acquire over the period between 2010 and 2013 will allow us to continue to invest in improving our technology and reducing generating costs, which will be a key factor in the definitive rollout of concentrating solar power technology in Spain and around the world."

Meanwhile, the wind industry is also now able to push forward with projects after the long delays in publishing the registry, which have caused the sector to suffer this year, especially in light of the economic downturn.

Wind developer and turbine manufacturer, Acciona, is happy. This company has been assigned 13% of the total amount of wind projects inscribed in the registry, representing 29 of its wind farm projects. 13 of these (441.45 MW en total) are located in the region of Valencia (10 are fully-owned by the company and another three are 50% owned with Renomar). Five (159.6 MW) are in Andalusia; another 10 (218 MW) are located in the two regions of Castile; while one is in Galicia (5.2 MW).

Industry players are now calling on the Government to urgently sit down with them to draw up a new Renewable Energy Plan for the period 2011-2020, which, along with the new Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Law, will form the foundations of Spain’s long-term plan for achieving its 2020 target of meeting 20% of its final energy demand with renewable energy.

For additional information:

Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade

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