Spain: Renewable energy premium payments rise by 19% in 2012

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The combined cost of premiums (compensation payments) for all renewable power and co-generation sectors in 2012 amounted to €8.59 billion, an increase of € 1.36 billion from the forecasted €7.22 billion, according to Spain's national energy commission CNE.

"Specifically, at the beginning of the year it was predicted that solar energy would be responsible for €2.610 billion in premium payments. At the end of 2012, the total amount reached €611 million, which is a small difference of 0.03% from the forecast," said Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF) in a statement.

Spain’s photovoltaic energy generation sector did not contribute to the country’s premium tariff deficit in the past year, according to the Spanish Photovoltaic Union UNEF. The deficit is the gap between an assumed deficit policy ‘ex ante’ and the real deficit at the end of the year. If the difference is negative, then a deficit was incurred.

Meanwhile, photovoltaic electricity sales in Spain amounted to 561 GWh in March, up by 8.30% on the 518 GWh of power that were commercialized a month earlier, according to CNE. In March, Photovoltaic solar power production represented 2.5% of all electricity sales effectuated in the special regime that involves all renewable power generation sources and co-generation.

Spain’s net photovoltaic capacity in March increased to 4,543.8 MW, up by 0.7% from 4,509.0 MW recorded a month earlier, according to a new report issued by the Inspection, Settlements and Compensation Directorate of Spain’s regulator National Energy Commission (CNE).

Overall, in the first three months of the year, the photovoltaic sector sold 1.521TWh of electricity with an average premium of around € 0.39099 per kWh, CNE’s statement said. The total regulated compensation paid out to photovoltaic generators between January and March amounted to € 598.57 million.

The number of photovoltaic installations in the country also went up from 59,850 in February to 59,973 in March, according to CNE. The premium paid out to photovoltaic generators amounted to €0.40069 per kWh in March and the reactive component amounted to € 0.000256 per kWh, while the total regulated compensation paid out to photovoltaic generators in the same month was €226.09 million.

"Photovoltaic production is very stable and predictable throughout the entire annual cycle. The addition of new capacity used to be controlled by the quota system, although this has now been suspended by the moratorium. The regulated revenues are bounded by the limitations of hours of operation that can be eligible for receiving premiums," said UNEF in a recent statement.

UNEF represents more than 330 companies and organizations from the entire solar production chain in the country, including producers, installers, engineering companies, raw material and module producers, as well as distributors.

It represents the industry’s four major PV associations in Spain: The Photovoltaic Business Association (AEF), the National Association of Renewable Energy Producers (ANPER), the Photovoltaic Section of the Association of Renewable Energy Producers (Appa Fotovoltaica) and the Association of the Photovoltaic Industry (ASIF).

Edited by Vera von Kreutzbruck.

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