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Slowdown in Spanish wind

The Spanish wind power sector experienced the slowest growth ever recorded in percentage terms with a 5.1% increase in accumulated power to just under 21.7 GW in 2011.

By Kari Williamson

The figures show that the wind power sector failed to meet the Government's goal of reaching just over 22 GW in 2011, the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) says.

Royal Decree-law 1/2012 on the one hand, guarantees the current economic basis for installed wind power and pre-registered farms and, on the other, suspends the incentives to facilities that are not registered in the Pre-allocation Register.

The lack of policy certainty is making the wind industry uneasy and the lack of orders for wind turbines has already led to major restructuring, and the AEE warns that the relocation of manufacturers to other countries is likely.

According to the main manufacturers, currently less than 10% of the wind turbine production carried out in Spain is for domestic orders. The 1050 MW installed in Spain in 2011 are from orders for wind turbines made in previous years.

The AEE believes it urgent to design an economic system which will allow the continued development of the Spanish wind sector, taking into account the overall financial problems in Spain.

New regulations should take into account the high degree of maturity and competitiveness of wind power, whose impact on the rate deficit was zero in 2011, and which represents 0.28% of the Spanish GDP and exports more than €2 billion a year.

2012 is the final year of the Pre-allocation Register, in which a total of 1903 MW of wind power is registered and pending commissioning. Of this, 970 MW is undergoing construction problems for reasons not attributable to the promoters –such as delay in the planning of the transport network and distribution lines, and administrative difficulties- or lack of economic viability. These projects account for half of the wind power registered and to be installed this year.

In addition, AEE considers it necessary for the Ministry to maintain the quota of 600 MW for wind farms in the Canaries established in Royal Decree 1614/2010.

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