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Spanish Government May Cut Rates Paid for Existing Solar and Wind Plants

Spain is considering cuts to the prices that existing solar and wind power plants earn, an Industry Ministry spokesman said.

Spain won’t seek to claw back revenue already earned by plants operating under the government’s fixed-price system, the spokesman said in an e-mailed clarification of comments by Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian. Sebastian said on April 26 that his agency has “never discussed retroactivity” in the context of new prices, according to a report by Europa Press.

The Spanish government has been negotiating with solar and wind energy producers over the prices it pays them. While the government is seeking to rein in renewable prices which are inflating energy bills for families and factories, renewable power companies are trying to defend the returns that attracted more than 18 billion euros of investment since 2008.

“In dialogue with the sector and political forces we’ll make a reasonable adjustment to avoid damaging the competitiveness of industry,” Sebastian told the Spanish parliament today.

Some investors yesterday interpreted the minister’s April 26 comments as a sign that the tariffs set for existing solar plants in Spain would be maintained for the 25-year period set out in the regulation.

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