Spain to Auction 3 GW of Renewables in the First Half of 2017

World | Renewable Energy

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The government of Spain has announced details of the next auction for renewable energy projects which it will launch in coming weeks and which will be open to multiple renewable energy technologies.

On Tuesday Spanish Energy Minister Álvaro Nadal released details on the next renewable energy auction which the Spanish government will hold, in which around 3 GW of capacity will be awarded.

“What will be announced today is that in a few weeks we are going to launch the installation of new renewable energy capacity,” stated Minister Álvaro Nadal. This auction “will have to be resolved before the end of the first half of 2017”, he said in a session of a parliamentary energy commission.

The minister confirmed that this auction will be “technology neutral”, and is supposed to be open to the participation of different renewable energy technologies, including solar PV. “The new auction will be conducted according to competitive principles,” stated Álvaro Nadal. He added that this will include the “principle of cost efficiency”.

“We are also going to establish additional controls to ensure the completion of projects which are awarded,” he continued. “We will ask for deposits.” The last renewable energy auction, which was held last year, only contained categories for wind and biomass. Additionally, the mechanisms to ensure the completion of the projects awarded in this auction have been widely criticized.

The new auction is part of the measures to reach Spain’s 2020 renewable energy objectives laid out by the European Union. The Spanish Energy Ministry estimates that the actual participation of renewable energy currently stands at 17.3%. “We have to reach those objectives,” he stated.

In the session of the parliamentary committee, Socialist Parliamentarian Pilar Lucio asked the minister to make those objectives concrete, and criticized the failure of planning in this regard. Spain’s National Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) has repeatedly asked the government to establish a plan for the incorporation of renewable energy and to establish a annual calendar for auctions.

The Ministry of Energy has already expressed that this year it would prepare a new auction for renewable energy projects. For solar, this auction should be the first national program for PV plants following the cancellation of the feed-in tariff program for new projects in January 2012.