Spanish Solar Forum 3: The solar sector debates auctions and other opportunities

Possibilities are opening in the Spanish solar market with the recent call for a renewable energy auction and changes expected to the nation’s self-consumption regulations. The design of the auctions is one of the main topics of conversation inthe third Spanish Solar Forum organized by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) in Madrid and attended by more than 450 representatives of the industry.

At the opening session of the event on Tuesday, UNEF President Jorge Barredo asked whether the model of the auctions in Spain should be similar to other nations and whether the contracting should not be on the basis of energy delivered. “The auctions should not be carried out solely on the basis on installed capacity but instead on kilowatt-hours,” he stated.

Additionally, various companies raised a call for the next auction to have a different compensation system from the renewable energy auction which was carried last year on a basis of marginal cost. Hugo Galindo, the director general of Grenergy Renewables was among those who spoke in favor of a “pay as bid” auction model.

Meanwhile, in his presentation at the opening of the event EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete indicated that the new direction of renewable energy community self-consumption is being considered, as well as compensation for excess generation to the grid.

Therefore, it is expected that the Spanish self-consumption regulation will adapt to the new EU directives. Commissioner Cañete also referred to the importance of regulatory frameworks which give “certainty” and “security” in order to attract investors to the renewable energy sector.

Other relevant themes in the event were the different regulatory changes in the renewable energy sector in Spain in the last few years and the rulings of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. These rulings were mostly against investors and the solar industry.

Numerous international lawsuits initiated by foreign investors remain pending, and the speakers on a panel dealing with legal security discussed the possibilities and potential consequences of rulings either favorable or against investors.

The first ruling of an international court regarding this question occurred at the beginning of the year and was in favor of the Spanish state, however the large majority of the cases before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (CIADI) have not yet been resolved.

Traducido por/translated by Christian Roselund. Para leer el original en Español, por favor vea el sitio del web pv magazine Latinoamérica.