In its annual report, issued on April 18, CNE stated that Spains PV industry did not contribute to the massive power tariff deficit seen in Spains electricity sector in 2012. Overall, Spains cumulative tariff deficit has risen to 35.6 billion.
According to CNEs figures, last year, the deficit reached 5.6 billion, thus representing a 45.7% increase on 2011. The increase was primarily attributed to the costs of the special regime (renewables and cogeneration) which, at 8.6 billion, ran 19% over budget (excluding PV); and for offshore power subsidies (Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla) which, at 1.6 billion, ran 27% over budget.
Specifically, while subsidies for the PV sector deviated from the original plan (2.610 billion) by just 0.03% (2.611 billion), other renewables played a key role in the tariff deficit, including solar thermal which went 68% over its budget of 553 million, cogeneration which went 51% over its budget of 1.23 billion, and wind which went 5% over its budget of 1.9 billion.
See the table below for a further breakdown:
Installed capacity (MW)
Energy production (GWh)
Premium ( cents/kWh)
Total premium ( millions)
Total cost ( millions)
Source: Adapted from CNE
In order to handle the deficit, the Spanish government approved Royal Decree Law 1/2012 on January 27. This saw the suspension of financial incentives for new electricity generation systems using co-generation, renewable energy sources and waste; and a fee for the pre-allocation register for projects.
The most recent modification in the legal regime was made by RDL 2/2013 on February 1. The changes including a premium for special regime installations that sell energy to the market were introduced to reduce costs in the electricity sector and save, according to government estimates, between 600-800 million per year.
Special regime results in 2012
In 2012, the total amount of subsidies paid out to the renewable energy industry increased by about 20% from previous year to 7.2 billion, while their actual cost reached 8.9 billion. This growth can be attributed to the fact that electricity output from special regime grew by 10.6%, and the share of PV and solar thermal increased by 11% and 88%, respectively.
In general, in 2012, energy generated by the special regime accounted for 38% of the total production of Spains electricity. At 6.7%, solar power ranks third under the regime, according to data by market operator, Red Eléctrica de España, behind cogeneration at 26% and wind at 47%.
Spain is expected to announce an energy reform in the next few weeks. Local media has reported that the renewable energy industry could be affected.
Edited by Becky Beetz.